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Rethinking Direct Mail Campaigns

The marketing world changes constantly to keep up with a rapidly evolving culture and world. As a result, there are new trends every year in marketing to keep up with technology and culture. Direct mail marketing is no different. These are some of the trends we believe will come to the direct mail market in 2014:

Direct Mail vs. The Internet

This may seem like a no-brainer to a lot of people out there- obviously internet marketing is the way of the future. It’s cheaper due to lower overhead publishing costs, everyone and their grandma uses the internet now so the market is open, and websites like Facebook have made appealing directly to targeted crowds easier and easier. So the internet is clearly the best investment at this point, right?

Actually, no. Studies have shown that customized direct mail campaigns have a much higher average return on investment than internet marketing campaigns. This may sound surprising until you really consider how over saturated almost every website is with spam and advertising. While targeting ads may be easier with the internet, jaded users have embraced spam filters and programs to block as many ads as possible. The few that may get through to crucial demographics are often ignored out of sheer exhaustion from seeing so many, also known as ad fatigue.

On the other hand, direct mail campaigns have some of the highest return on investment rates of any marketing campaigns. There are no spam filters or ad blockers for the US Mail. People also tend to respond better to a physical and personal ad, especially older demographics that typically have a higher net worth and more disposable income.

Getting More Personal With Your Audience

Another trend in direct mail will be a greater push towards personal mailers, beyond simple personalization. Similar to online advertising, tighter targeting is always more effective, especially for niche products and markets. As a result, personal ads are becoming more popular in direct mail marketing thanks to the introduction of new printing methods, like variable data printing. Appealing to customers’ emotions with personal stories or ads helps establish more trust, and targeting specific groups helps get the most out of your investment budget by eliminating audiences that will be disinterested anyways.

Keeping Customers and Recovering Lapsed Customers

Direct mail campaigns have also shifted their focus from acquiring new customers to both customer retention and recovering lost customers. While new business is always great, the most profitable audience for companies is most often the customers they already have (or had). You can use a campaign targeted at these customers that shows improvement in areas that turned them off from your business before, and can convince them to give you another try. You also have a better knowledge of them personally than you would with a “cold call” approach, giving you a distinct advantage in both gaining trust and piquing their interest.

An Investment, Not a Cost

Direct mail campaigns have proven time and again that they have one of the highest returns on investment rates in the marketing world. While the initial cost of materials, printing and postage may make a direct mail campaign seem like a huge cost, the return on investment in new or returning business often greatly surpasses any initial cost. As a result, more companies are seeing direct mail campaigns as investments rather than costs.

These trends will permeate the direct mail marketing world and most likely shape the advertising world as a whole. To see how a direct mail campaign can help your business grow, call us today.