Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

How can marketeers harness the power of digital to execute their direct mail campaigns? Read our 5 top tips:

There was a time where individual marketing channels were viewed as separate entities. These days, a business does itself a disservice if they ignore other forms of marketing. Customers’ attention is already fragmented with the various options in which they consume media, so why not cover it all?

Direct mail is geared to be effective with any audience, and while it’s superior to email in volume purchases, it’s inferior on cost per campaign. Historically the two types of media competed, but with greater advances in printing technology, marketeers can harness the power of digital to execute their direct mail campaigns.

 

1. It’s Physical

One of the regular arguments for direct mail is its physical nature. You can’t get replicate it with an email, but you can use a digital to make it something that will resonate better with the recipient. It needs to stop them in their tracks—only handling a mailer doesn’t cut it to achieve significant results. One way to do this is to give something away with it that requires interaction. A coupon directing the recipient to the website with a redemption code enlists their action and converts them in a physical way. They needn’t purchase, but holding something physical establishes a relationship and makes people do the things you ask them because it’s real. And because people hold onto a mailer for 17 days after they’ve received it, you still get their attention when they look at it every day.

 

2. It Conveys Emotion

You can shout as much as you want using traditional advertising methods in an increasingly online world, but that doesn’t mean anyone’s going to hear you. You need to create something that connects directly on an emotional level. We used to wonder how we can get into people’s most intimate sanctum and now with smartphones they’ve practically invited us in. Think how that digital connection can translate to a real-world application. Big data allows us to see how people interact with their devices so with a little insight and creativity, a direct-mail piece can reflect their online behaviour. It can be as simple as a physical version of your customer’s wish list, and when they’re holding your product in the their hand it’s easier for them to envision it in their life and convert to purchase.

 

3. Unparalleled Personalisation

More than just a name and address on an envelope or mailer, direct mail has unprecedented access to get personal. While consumers treat email containing personal information with suspicion, direct mail has a certain authenticity that can’t be replicated. Think about customer behaviour to influence your direct-mail offering and you’re well on your way to large returns on investment. Change your messaging, revise the offer, or trigger specific mailers whenever the customer performs a predetermined action online. With new technology like the Xerox Trivor, you can send out a mailer with little notice and greater speed than ever.

 

4. The best of both world’s

By testing with email we’re better at predicting direct-mail results. Firstly it’s cost-effective and allows you immediate insight into which offers, propositions and demographics work best. Unique URLs even give you a secondary personalisation option and highly detailed and accurate tracking. It’s the best way that email can give your direct mail campaigns a predictable level of sales, so guessing if you’re going to make a profit is finally coming to an end. Email for predictability, direct mail for volume sales.

 

5. Higher Response Rates

Six months’ email (based on 28 emails over 26 weeks) yields the same amount of revenue as one direct mail event in one month, that’s 28:1 sales ratio. With a greater response rate it can free up your marketing budget to do concurrent activity: primary sales from direct mail with testing and complementary follow-up with email. It also frees up your email to highlight other products or services, or introduce flash sales and incentives for more dynamic campaigns. You should be continually reaching to new audiences and markets so why not start testing with email today and sell with direct mail tomorrow?

 

Contact First Move today on 01494 539300 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk for help with your Direct Mail campaigns.

 

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Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email

Direct Mail vs Email

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email

Direct Mail vs Email – We take a look at the key statistics on customer engagement and ROI across both Marketing channels.

There’s no question email was one of the most important inventions of the 21st Century, but many would agree it’s one of the worst. Sitting in front of your computer bombarded with messages for hours—a never-ending stream. At least before it existed someone would have to write a letter first and then put it in the post! These days these views aren’t isolated and many of your customers think the same way. In fact people admit to responding to only 0.12% of email messages. Now that’s a scary statistic for any marketeer.

It’s easy to write off direct mail when you’re bombarded by emails distracting your attention in different ways without your realising. But a piece of direct mail is different: It gets the reader’s attention because they’re holding it. And you can’t ignore something that’s already in your hand. 56% of people find printed marketing the most trustworthy of all the channels; that’s powerful insight right there.

In comparison to email direct mail has a greater likelihood to convert. How much? 4.6% of all mail sent converts to a response, which eclipses the paltry 0.12% of email. To imagine it in plain terms, for a mail campaign sent to 100K recipients, 4,600 of them will make a purchase. Email doesn’t even scrape in with 120 respondents. They both took the same amount of time to plan, draft and execute; which has the greatest return on your time and labour force?

But it doesn’t stop there. Direct mail generates 10% more customers than email (34% direct mail compared to 24% email) and 17.7 million people ordered within 12 months of receiving a direct-mail catalogue. Why? Direct mail conveys sentiment and emotion—it makes people react. This isn’t to say that email is entirely bad. Email serves its purpose and works quite well with direct mail for totally integrated campaigns, and it can even be a means of securing the sale with your customers, but it shouldn’t be the sole method to contact them.

As marketeers our job is to create an emotional response in our target audience. Choose the way to cause a real reaction. Email might make for a great support act, but the real star is direct mail.

 

To talk about your direct mail campaigns please contact us enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or call 01494 539300.

 

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Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

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How to make the most of your email campaigns with Direct Mail

Direct Mail

How to make the most of your email campaigns with direct mail

One of the things we direct mail marketeers hear time and again is a resistance to such a “traditional” form of advertising. While it’s easy to tire of the same old hesitation, it’s important to note that it’s our job to educate our prospects and respond to any objections they might have. But perhaps it’s our approach that needs improvement?

Usually direct mail is offered as an alternative to other marketing practices, but what if it’s to be included as part of their marketing mix? You might think it’s an unorthodox strategy, but hear me out. While all marketing is competing for the same share of spend, we all have the same objective: to convert sales and leads. What if I were to tell you that electronic mail—our direct rival—can actually benefit direct mail?

One of the familiar arguments is that direct mail costs so much. Sure, but in comparison to low-cost e-mail mailers, anything would seem extortionate. But this is just on the surface. While we might know it, our customers don’t realise just how low the response rate of e-mail actually is in comparison to direct mail. When you explain these details they begin to come around to the idea, and when it’s extrapolated to realistic figures—real-life sample sizes in the thousands versus in the hundreds—they understand instantly how it affects their bottom line. And that’s the major concern of our clients—how will it impact their sales and ROI? This is our opportunity to demonstrate that direct mail can help them “round out” or close the sale as part of an overall marketing campaign.

Say, for example, you have a television or radio advertisement running. It’ll have great reach and many will see or hear it, however, how many consumers will remember your product when the time comes to purchase? But if you send out a mailer during your advertising campaign they’ll have instant brand recognition and your product will be in their hands. Literally. You can apply the same principle to an e-mail campaign. It’s not as crazy as you think. With email, you can track each recipient that has actually opened your e-mail (provided their privacy settings allow it). Even if they don’t do anything about the e-mail, you know that if you target them again using direct mail they’ll recognise your brand immediately.

Of course there are many ways and interpretations of this particular strategy and a direct-mail specialist can build a specific campaign to suit the correct client, product and budget. We no longer need to fight the fight for direct mail. Direct mail is here to stay, we just need to show them how it’s integral.

 

For help with your direct mail mail campaigns please contact us enquiries@firstmove.co.uk or call 01494 539300.

 

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

direct mail response rates

Achieving better Direct Mail response rates in the digital space

When it comes to a direct mail campaign, direct mail response rates are our bottom line. And research shows that, whereas an average email marketing campaign will yield a response rate of just over 1 in 1000, response rates of 1 in 25 or better are possible for an expertly planned and executed direct marketing campaign. But just how does one get one’s direct mail response rates to rise?

 

Personalisation

A personalised message with customer-specific content can be the crucial difference between your mailing ending up in the rubbish bin and your prospect ending up in your store or on your books. The options for personalisation are limitless: from envelope colours to handwritten greetings to offer content, a cleverly personalised message is easy and will lift response rates dramatically.

 

Timing

The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing, goes a well-known saying. And in many cases when it comes to generating sales or subscriptions, nothing could be more true. Use sales information and expert knowledge to optimise the timing of your campaigns so that your message arrives exactly when your prospect wants to hear it, maximising customer response rates at no extra cost, that can be acutely personalised from a behavioural perspective.

 

Using previous sales information

One of the most powerful tools in the direct mail kit is the ability to analyse previous sales information and use it to tailor your current campaign. In some cases the application of “big data” can be harnessed by pushing an almost limitless level of personalisation into any mailing. Basically if you’ve got the data, we’ve go the know-how. Build a customer database that enables you to easily identify customers who have purchased most frequently, most recently, and who have spent the most money, and use this information to target future campaigns. Sales records and information about customer preferences can be used to generate leads and convert these to sales or subscriptions, ensuring the maximum response rates from every campaign.

 

Filtering and segmentation

Another key strength of direct marketing is the possibility of taking the information in your database and applying filters to help segment your campaigns, ensuring the right prospects are targeted in a way that speaks to them. The database is at the heart of this process, and indeed, the heart of any good campaign. Using categories, codes and key data fields, you can organise your data in the most effective way possible, making future filtering and analysis as easy as a few mouse clicks. Once the filters have been applied, segmenting your campaigns to target different groups is a cinch—and higher response rates await.

 

Means of reply

Every prospect is different, and a smart campaign will reflect that, not only in the content and format of the mailing, but also in the means of reply. Email, phone, web, post—cater to all factions of your audience by knowing their preferences. Use sophisticated database filters to segment your campaigns into differing means of reply groups, so that every prospect is as comfortable as possible with the reply means, and of course, far more likely to respond.

If you’d like to talk further about your direct mail campaigns and find out how to increase your direct mail response rates call us on 01494 539300 or fill in our online contact form.

 

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How to write a responsive Direct Mail letter

5 ways to personalise your Direct Mail campaign

FM-Blog-12-1130x195

5 Reasons Why Direct Mail is Better than Email

We’re sure you’ll agree: as experts at direct mail we should be celebrating it, but too often we find ourselves defending it. In fact, direct mail is one of the most powerful, versatile and cost-effective ways of marketing your business, brand or product. Here are 5 reasons that prove why direct mail needs no defence.

 

  1. Direct mail is physical

There is something far more compelling about what can be held in the hand: the tactile connection, the little touches that can be added to the printed page – these ensure a deeper sense of connection and trust for every potential customer.

An email will be lucky to get through your prospect’s spam folder and into their inbox, but a physical piece of mail will make it into your prospect’s hand, into their home or business – and won’t be deleted as soon as it’s opened.

 

  1. Direct mail makes an emotional connection

Another proven benefit of real physical marketing is its power to stir customers’ emotions and create a connection with the brand and the offer.

In fact, research by Bangor University that compared responses to physical and virtual material showed that physical messages trigger a much deeper emotional response than virtual messages. This stronger emotional connection means that physical messages fix deeper in prospects’ memories and generate more positive, powerful brand associations.

 

  1. Direct mail has a greater response rate

Ideas and branding are important when it comes to marketing, but the bottom line is always the response rate: in other words, how many prospects who received your marketing actually went on to become paying customers. And it’s here that direct marketing really leaves email for dead. Compare a response rate of just over 1 in 1000 for email, to a response rate of around 1 in 25 for direct mail; that’a more than enough of a difference to translate the greater investment needed for direct mail into a very worthwhile return.

 

  1. Direct mail adds a personal touch

We all respond better to a personal touch. Whether it’s a handwritten address, a personal message, or a novel inclusion in a parcel, it’s personalisation that puts you right in the room with your prospect and opens up a one-to-one conversation. Combined with the added power of making a physical connection with your customer, the possibilities of personalisation in direct mail are almost limitless.

 

  1. Direct mail tells you more about your prospects – and your success

There’s no point screaming into the digital ether, not knowing if you’re getting a response. With direct mail, an inbuilt feedback system allows you to monitor the results of your campaign with ease.

Take, for example, an approach which A/B tests different campaigns to determine the most successful approach. Begin small, and if the testing shows one campaign is succeeding, go big. Later, use testing to fine-tune your campaign, ensuring minimum investment for maximum return.

Less we forget – – A virus can’t piggy back on your direct mail either…

 

If you’d like to talk further about your direct mail campaign call us on 01494 539300 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk

 

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Achieving better direct mail response rates in the digital space

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

Why Direct Mail in the 21st Century?

Why Direct Mail in the 21st Century?

Is Direct Mail old fashioned? Tired – past its Prime? Overtaken by e-mail?

The above are typical of comments heard over the last few years.

The main comparison marketers undertake is between e-mail and direct mail – they both have their strengths and weaknesses so let’s explore this.

There is no one way to undertake your marketing – you should be using all the methods available to communicate and sell that are open to you. Research proves that using more than one method together increases effectiveness by on average 24% over using the individual methods on their own.

 

E-mail –   is fast, quick, low cost and research shows people prefer it as a method of communication when they know the organisation that is contacting them. In 2013 average open rates were 19.6% (consumer products faired better at 25.4%) and a unique click through rate of 16.9%. Only 3.0% of those who received the e-mail actually visited a webpage and that generated an average response rate of 0.12%. Where you have a relationship with the individual results improve and the top performers had an open rate of 38.6% but 25% of e-mailers only achieved 7%.

This data shows that e-mail can and does work but the sheer volume of clutter in peoples in-boxes, shows that e-mails are great at communication mainly if the recipient knows you.

However setting out to build a business and generating new enquiries is far more difficult due to low open and response rates and the difficulty in sourcing good quality e-mail lists.

 

Direct Mail – 100% delivery, 56% of people believe that printed marketing is the most trust worthy form of communication, 66% of consumers keep their mail for over 2 weeks. Even in a digital world direct mail gets 44% of recipients to go your website. Average response rates are 4%. Overall 7% of receivers will take some sort of action.

Research undertaken at Bangor University looked at how the brain reacts to printed material versus virtual stimuli. The “real” experience that the physical media provides means it’s better at becoming part of memory. It generates more emotion, helps to develop more positive brand associations, the materials have a more personal effect, and therefore aid motivation.

Direct mail has a response rate of 30 times that of e-mail and coupled with the availability of large quantities of reliable data provides a great opportunity to build your business. Costs are of course higher which is why you have to adopt the right approach to making it work.

 

Bibliography
Silverpop 2013 E-mail marketing metrics study
DMA response rates 2012
Royal Mail
Millward Brown – Using Neuroscience to understand the role of direct mail.

David Amor is Managing Director of First Move direct marketing, a leading mailing house located in the Thames Valley and sponsors of the 2014 DMA Awards Business to Consumer category.

Contact First Move today on 01494 854732 or email enquiries@firstmove.co.uk for help with your Direct Mail campaigns.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns