Direct Mail Strategy: Direct Mail Revival
These are exciting times for all of us involved in direct mail. If you’re wondering whether direct mail—the traditional workhorse of direct marketing—is dead or even dying, the answer is a resounding “No!”
However, it is changing.
And to be successful with your 2004 direct mail efforts, you need to be a part of the change.
Times Are Changing
Thanks to the now-famous Do-Not-Call Registry, direct mail is being reconsidered as a viable medium by many who had thought of abandoning it. Of course, those of us who understand the strategic value of direct mail have never thought of it as not viable. But with telemarketing under close scrutiny and heavy criticism, direct mail—a medium as personal as the phone, yet much less invasive—is once again looking good. It’s just the thing for direct marketers who want to balance their online and offline media mix.
And though online direct marketing continues to grow at a remarkable pace, it is not replacing direct mail. The growth is fueled, in part, by direct mail. Direct mail drives qualified traffic to Web sites. That’s right; anyone who reaches your Web site because of seeing your URL in a catalog or direct mail piece is not your average surfer. These are pre-qualified visitors who arrive with specific expectations and greater intentions to buy.
What Channel to Choose? Who to Target?
Vertis’ 2003 Customer Focus: Direct Marketing study shows response to effectively targeted direct mail has been increasing in recent years—with jumps of as much as 30 percent to 40 percent within certain market segments (e.g., young baby boomers). One reason for this increase: Customers now have more choices for how they respond. Response channels include mail, phone, a Web site or an in-person/in-store visit. In many cases, customers learn about a product via direct mail, get in-depth information at a Web site, then choose to purchase it online, by phone or in a nearby store.