Direct Mail Strategy: To Mail or Not to Mail
• Is it important for you to put a product sample or swatch into your prospect's hands? Even with the added cost, this direct marketing technique is cost-effective for overcoming the objection, "I don't believe it."
• Mail is more private than e-mail according to 66 percent of those participating in a recent U.S. Postal Service study. They said the Internet is not a substitute for mail. Sixty-eight percent also said mail is more secure.
• Direct mail can be an effective tool for generating Web site traffic with increased user satisfaction. In a study by comScore Networks, financial services Web site visitors who received Web-related direct mail were 57 percent satisfied with their site experiences compared to 52 percent receiving online communications and 44 percent that received neither. Direct mail boosts site visits and engagement with content by setting expectations for what's there and where to find it.
• Direct mail can be used when you have a strong visual or tactile story you want customers to be able to hold in their hands and easily retain for later reference. While e-mails can be printed out in color, they normally print on an 8 ½˝ x 11˝ sheet of white paper. Consequently, they stack neatly and have less visual impact, all looking the same. Direct mail, on the other hand, is memorable in appearance, sticks around longer and often gets passed along to other potential buyers.
• If direct mail has been your primary prospecting tool, continue using and testing direct mail against other media. Don't jump ship without testing. And don't base media decisions on one-time sales. Track results over time to measure the lifetime value of customers generated via different media.
The key to deciding if and when to use direct mail is to apply common sense and basic direct marketing principles.