Direct Mail Strategy: To Mail or Not to Mail
With all the interactive and newly emerging media that's available to direct marketers, many of you may wonder if and when you should still use direct mail. While media choices continue to grow, when used appropriately, direct mail remains a direct marketing workhorse for carrying your message to your targeted audience. Here are suggestions for how, when and why to use it.
• Fifty-six percent of Americans surveyed by InnoMedia say receiving mail is a pleasure. Translation: Unlike confronting their e-mail inboxes, 56 percent of people receiving traditional mail don't dread opening their mailboxes.
• Sixty-seven percent of Americans feel traditional mail is more personal than Internet communications, according to research from the U.S. Postal Service. Use this to your advantage. Make sure your letters have a signature below the closing, not the name of your company. And yes, it can be preprinted. Send ink-on-paper birthday and anniversary cards to customers and clients. Use data and digital printing to tailor relevant messages to the individual so you're not wasting your reader's time.
• Among Gen Yers (born 1977-1994) and Gen Xers (born 1965-1976), more than 70 percent sort their mail immediately, and 66 percent read it every week, reports the USPS. For these groups, look for strategic opportunities to integrate direct mail with new and interactive media to support your business goals. These generations also typically receive less mail than others. This means it's easier to stand out.
• Even though most personal communications for Gen Yers and Gen Xers arrive electronically, young consumers invest time with their direct mail knowing it is advertising. They are motivated to receive information to help make buying decisions. Give them what they want, making sure to tailor it to the audience. Use branded direct mail to send them to your store or a landing page to download coupons for books and fashions. Mail postcards with the top three reasons to consider your MBA program or car dealership, then send them to your Web site to download an application or price-comparison checklist. Show them you are tuned into their needs and behaviors.