While digital marketing revolutionized the playbook for small business, allowing entrepreneurs to reach massive audiences for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising, one of the longest-held tactics in marketers’ arsenals has actually continued to grow more potent in the digital age. To the untrained eye, direct mail may have become an overlooked strategy among other channels such as social media. However, marketers ignore it at their own peril– in fact, integrating direct mail along with a digital campaign can pay significant dividends.
In a world where digital notifications never stop, it can be easy to forget that people still interact with mail on a daily basis. That’s part of what makes direct mail so important. The competition for space within a consumer’s mailbox is less intensive than their social feed. This creates an opportunity for marketers to increase the frequency that their target market is seeing their message both online and off.
How Can Direct Mail Enhance Digital?
The frequency and number of touch points you are able to impact your target audience through is critical. This means that impressions can’t start and stop in only the digital world. In fact, the most effective marketing campaigns target the same audience across both digital and traditional channels. Direct mail is the foremost traditional channel that can provide the same precise audience targeting as digital. You can build a list of recipients by interests, age, gender, location, and more, the same way you would in a data-driven digital campaign.
What’s more, there are now platforms that allow you to run a digital campaign alongside a direct mail campaign in the same place, using the same data and audience targeting across all channels.
Jim Fitzgerald, CEO of Taradel, a platform that integrates direct mail and digital campaigns, says, “The biggest misconception is that direct mail is dead. It’s not. Maybe it’s easy to conflate the decline of first-class mail, traditionally used for statements and billing purposes, with the thriving marketing mail industry. The reality is that direct mail response rates are at all-time highs, and technology has made direct mail a more effective and data-driven ad delivery vehicle.”
He goes on to explain that there’s a misconception regarding the ability to track direct mail. “Advertisers use a myriad of tools, including call-tracking phone numbers, QR codes, campaign-specific URLs, coupons, and promo codes, for attribution purposes. These tools allow advertisers to track direct mail response rates and conversions with the same precision as digital campaigns,” he says.
How to Plan a Direct Mail Strategy
If you have decided to start a direct mail campaign, there are a few things to remember as you strategize its integration into your digital efforts.
There need to be clearly defined goals that are consistent with your digital efforts. Consider the type of action you would like to drive from this campaign, the impressions you need to generate and how you will track it.
Second, just like in your digital campaign, you need data to build an audience. It ideally should be the same audience you are targeting through your digital channels, so using a tool that allows you to target the same audience both digitally and through a mailing address is how you will yield the greatest results.
Finally, create compelling copy that grabs your audience’s attention and gets them to take action. Your copy should be concise and persuasive. Design a piece of direct mail that will stand out and make an impact.
As you’re evaluating your marketing campaign for the upcoming year, remember that direct mail is an effective way to reach out to your target audience and generate leads. It’s more personal than other forms of marketing and can make a significant impression on potential customers. It might be worth considering for your next campaign.