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Direct Mail in the 21st Century

Direct Mail in the 21st Century – Infographic

21st Century Direct Mail

Why Direct Mail in the 21st Century?

Got a message that you need distributed? Looking for a method that’s guaranteed to make you heard? Direct mail is a 21st-Century solution to an age-old problem, and it has a proven track record to getting you great results all the time. Don’t just take our word for it: demand proof. Get insight into direct mail’s effectiveness through its ample statistics; numbers that tell a story so you can tell yours.

It must be compelling, make a connection, and most of all, it must be personal. And like all good stories, have a beginning, a middle and an end. Direct mail is the perfect way to get your story across and tell it in a way that engages with your audience physically. So why not make a personal connection with print?

 

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  • Average household receives 16 pieces of mail each week
  • 70 to 80 percent of consumers open almost all of their mail
  • 70% of direct mail is opened
  • The same week the average consumer gets more than 100 emails
  • 79 percent of consumers will act on direct mail immediately; 45 percent say the same about email

 

Move from personalised to personal 

  • 80% are more likely to open it if it’s personalised
With personalisation:

·        Direct order – 9 percent

·        Lead generation – 8 percent

·        Traffic generation – 17 percent

Without personalisation:

·        Direct order – 2 percent

·        Lead generation – 3 percent

·        Traffic generation – 3 percent

 

Integrate direct mail with digital media

  • 88 percent of participants want to use mail to drive the web
  • 78 percent used mail to promote specific offers
  • 53 percent looked at cross-media effects, such as social media or web-traffic

 

Push them into action

  • 55% went to a physical retail store
  • 54% visited a website
  • 45% indicated direct mail led to purchase
  • 44% immediate discard direct mail if it isn’t relevant

 

How recipients feel

  • 62 percent of people like to receive mail telling them about offers
  • 70 percent of people welcome mail that rewards their loyalty
  • 56 percent of people welcome mail that gives them useful information

 

Physical isn’t a challenge

  • 71% say the print quality of the paper affects their decision
  • 70 percent of consumers are more likely to open colourful mail

 

Direct Mail: A snapshot

  • Cut through the clutter
  • Attract new customers
  • Enhance customer loyalty
  • Deliver profitable results

 

Sources:

  • Xerox infographic
  • Target marketing
  • DMA

 

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

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

Why use direct mail within your marketing mix?

The Past, Present and Future of Direct Mail

The Past, Present and Future of Direct Mail

Change is constant and so is the ever-evolving face of direct mail.

Originally hand-addressed letters, now a printing powerhouse, and in the future a beacon in the digital soup. We’re looking at the past, present and future of direct mail and making some predictions that only you can make come true.

 

The Past – History of Direct Mail

Direct mail has been a mainstay of marketing and advertising and it comes with a rich history of innovative and forward-thinking concepts. The very nature of direct mail was innovation when first introduced over a century ago. It provided a means of getting the attention of home and business owners who’d already reached saturation point with advertising featured in publications. While we’ve come a long way since the “Dear Homeowner” letters and keys to motor vehicles in sweepstakes, the idea of addressing prospects personally hasn’t changed. And the personal touch then as now has a much high rate of response than its competitors.

 

The Present – 21st Century Direct Mail

Direct mail is a sophisticated way to speak directly to your customers with information they’ve supplied or from what you’ve gleaned from their purchase behavior. And it’s fast, effective and direct. Digital printing has enabled greater levels of personalisation, including custom artwork, copy and entirely different propositions for individual recipients. And now as we our digital age alters the technology that produces our print material, we can merge the two for responsive campaigns. We can even test campaigns electronically to know what kind of response to expect and how to tweak it if needed. And that’s how direct mail is one of the most effective forms of marketing today.

 

The Future of Direct Mail

Direct mail has fascinated generations and it will continue to capture the imaginations of many more. The future looks bright for one of history’s most favoured marketing media; and it will continue to evolve with the marketplace. In the future you can expect more dynamic interaction with direct mail; a greater and more powerful way to communicate with your customers. You’ll be able to provide direct-to-door responses similar to Amazon Prime Now, meaning that when your customer receives your mailer, they can act upon it immediately and receive a close-to-immediate response. It might be hard to imagine, but if you send them an offer in the post, they can order directly from you to deliver within an hour.

Or perhaps in the future offers will be even more customised. With big data and an increased willingness to share information with trusted organisations, this data can be pooled and direct mail sent according to various triggers. Viewing something online and signed into a particular shopping network’s account? Send your prospect customised catalogues that cater to their specific interests.

And if you already know their preferences from previous contact send them a mailer that interacts with their Wi-Fi and can then order your product with ease. The technology already exists to do this, it’s just a matter of time before it reaches a critical mass and the cost effectiveness of such initiatives makes it possible to be revolutionary with direct mail.

You as marketeers will shape the future, so direct mail is in your hands. Being adaptable to change, creative and prepared to try out new concepts and technology will keep you and your business at the forefront of direct mail.

 

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

 

You might also be interested in the following articles:

5 Reasons to take another look at Direct Mail

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

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.

 

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

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

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.

 

You might also be interested in the following articles:

How to write a responsive Direct Mail letter

5 ways to personalise your Direct Mail campaign

Direct Mail Tips

Direct Mail Tips According to Experts

Planning a direct mail campaign and baffled by the terminology? Inspired, but looking for additional insight? Or maybe you think you’re onto a winner, but wouldn’t mind a little extra guidance? Well, look no further. We’ve got some expert direct mail tips from the DMA, Royal Mail, and First Move, which should set you on the path to direct marketing success.

Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
You might think that the poor reputation of ‘junk mail’ is one of the main barriers to businesses investing in direct marketing. However, in the Mail Matters 2015 report, the DMA found that cost (cited by 43% of respondents) was the main perceived barrier, not reputation (cited by a mere 16%).

This explains why 15% of digital marketeers have already adopted direct marketing in conjunction with their digital campaigns, as they seek new ways to cut through the digital “white noise.” But there is still more potential to be realised: Only 46% of those using direct mail have genuinely combined advertising mail and digital marketing by offering exclusive content—like personalised URLs, scannable elements and QR codes—to mail respondents.

When you consider that 98% of respondents would welcome better content personalisation, which has been one of the strengths of direct marketing for over a decade, you can begin to imagine the untapped potential of this medium.

Royal Mail
Many businesses don’t realise that Royal Mail also offers a range of services and tools to assist with direct marketing campaigns, from format choices to delivery options and machine readability to research tools. Some things to remember:
A direct marketing expert can also help you decide, for example, whether it’s most economical to pre-sort the mail or to have this step done by the Royal Mail on the way to delivery.

Barcodes and mailmark barcodes (which have extra space customers to place their own information) may also be suitable for your mailing.
Moreover, prices reduce as volume goes up, meaning that you might be looking at less than 20p per letter for a medium-large campaign.

First Move
Facts and figures aside, the crucial advantage of direct marketing lies in its physicality—its power to stir emotions and create a tactile connection with the brand and the offer.

A recent study by researchers at Bangor University showed that physical messages trigger a much deeper emotional response than virtual messages. Participants’ neurological activity was monitored while they received both physical and virtual messages. Resoundingly, the physical messages caused more activity in those centres of the brain that correspond with emotional response. In real-world terms, this translates into not only a higher chance the message will become ingrained in a prospect’s memory, but also a deeper brand connection. And that means, above all, a higher response rate.

In fact, research shows that whereas an average email marketing campaign will yield a response rate of just over 1 in 1000, businesses can expect a response rate of around 1 in 25 for an expertly planned and executed direct marketing campaign.

 

Contact First Move today on 01494 539300 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?

The past, present and future of direct mail

Successful Direct Mail Campaigns

10 Tips to Successful Direct Mail Campaigns

As an avid user of direct mail, you already know its distinct benefits. Higher engagement rates, a more tactile way to communicate than email, and targeted, visual campaigns are reasons to return. No doubt you’ve experienced success with direct mail, so why not strive for more? We’ve outlined ten pointers below that will make your direct mail campaigns even more successful with less effort than you can imagine.

 

Know Your USP

It might seem obvious, but strangely, it’s something many marketeers overlook: What makes your product different? While there might be many competing products or services in your space, there are differences—subtle or otherwise—that make yours unique. Put yourself in the customer’s position and ask yourself why you would choose your product over a competitor’s. List these reasons and use them to guide the way you communicate your offer. Think of it as the answer to the question you never asked.

 

Get Personal

Personalisation is key in a world of generic brand messages. It’s near impossible to hear one voice when everyone is shouting, so why broadcast when you can engage? It’s a simple touch, but using your prospect or client’s name will help you get their attention, before delivering a line of communication that is targeted to them. See also ‘Empathise.’

 

Empathise

Getting the customer’s attention is one thing, but retaining it is another. If you can show that you understand their desires or plight, your brand can be the one that stands out from the rest. Make your proposition speak to them by addressing their needs and become a trusted companion, therefore gaining or retaining their business.

 

Find a List Broker

Struggling to find the information yourself, or perhaps looking for new prospects? Look no further than a list broker. It’s a broker’s responsibility to find the correct fit for the customer profile you supply, and they will have a variety of databases pulled from sources that can relate to your business.

 

Find the Easy Pickings in Your Database

If you already have a connection with your database, why not utilise it? Focus on those who fit the profile of your campaign and concentrate your efforts on their conversion. Look for those targets who might have purchase history with your company for more comprehensive lead generation. Make better use of your time and direct mail budget by going directly to those who matter.

 

Identify Your Best Responders

When prospects become customers, or even respond with an enquiry, half your work is done. Continue the relationship with those you’ve engaged for repeat purchases and convert those who are curious. By following up weeks or months later shows that you haven’t forgotten about them, and you’ll remind them that you still care.

 

Use Purchase History to Frame Your Offer

Sales databases offer a wealth of insight into your client base. It makes business sense to review what your customers have purchased in the past to anticipate what they might need today. Think of product replenishment, cross-selling related products, or incentivised offers to expose your product to their friends. Make your offer relevant and expect your leads to roll in.

 

Exploit Your Peak Selling Season

While peak season means guaranteed sales, they can always be better. Look for opportunities within your peak period for multiple and add-on sales by framing your offer in a light that’s attractive to your customer. Whether it’s seasonal or necessity-based, create a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to convert with greater ease.

 

Use Examples or Testimonials

Nothing is more convincing than a proven record. Speak to your audience with real-life examples of how your product or service has helped others just like them. Build confidence through demonstration and help them conquer their fears or resistance.

 

Test, Test, and Test Again

Frequent and repeated mailings are the best way to understand what works best for your customer base. Run split testing to glean insight to which offers work well, change your wording or your offer slightly, or think of other ways to communicate that might be out of the ordinary—you never know what might work, just take a chance.

 

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

 

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Direct mail tips according to experts

The past, present and future of direct mail

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