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Digital Semantics of Direct Mail

Digital Semantics of Direct Mail – The language of the way we work

Though they come from the same discipline, direct mail and digital marketing are distant cousins rather than siblings in terms of terminology. They share a vocabulary, though depending on which camp you’re from you could be speaking the language with an accent. Each was founded on similar principles and they’ve since developed to suit the types of results each achieves. An open rate is one medium and means something completely different in the other, and response rates paint a different picture. Confused? We’ve lifted the mystery with our direct mail dictionary for digital natives; your comprehensive guide to the semantics of the world’s most powerful marketing tool.

Digital

Generally digital measurement is focused on the immediate, which lends itself to the nature of its lexicon. Here is a round-up of the most common terms you’ll encounter and in the next section a rundown of how they translate to direct mail.

 

  • Conversion rate: The number of desired actions resulting from email activity. For example, sales transactions, downloads or mailing list sign-ups.

 

  • Bounce rate: It is as it sounds and in either outcome the recipient never sees the email. A hard bounce rate is caused by incorrect email addresses or domain issues; a soft bounce rate is when there’s an issue with delivery such as a full inbox or server issues.

 

  • Deliverability: The measure of an email campaign’s cut-through. You should measure the returned email deliverability (volume of emails sent less the number of bounces) and inbox deliverability (volume of emails delivered to the inbox as opposed to the spam folder or not delivered).

 

  • Average unique open rate: How many emails were opened divided by the number of emails delivered.

 

  • Opt-out: The dreaded enemy; when a recipient opts out of further communications.

 

  • Response rate: The number of actual responses made as a result of the email campaign.

 

Direct Mail

So in terms of semantics, there are subtle differences between the two mediums and these largely depend on the way they’re consumed.

 

  • Conversion rate: In direct mail a conversion rate is the same as a response rate. Sales or information request, both forms of contact mean an interaction with your valuable customer.

 

  • Bounce rate: In direct mail a bounce rate means undelivered mail due to a change of address or a deceased individual. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

 

  • Deliverability: Deliverability means that your DM is undeliverable all together. The only way to improve this is by improving the quality of your database.

 

  • Average unique open rate: According to Royal Mail the average unique open rate is about 90%. When you know your most of mail is guaranteed to be viewed, digital open rates tend to pale in comparison.

 

  • Opt-out: There’s no need to consider opt-out rates as all clients have opted in in the first place; it’s a legal requirement of all direct mail. Recipients who don’t want to read your mail simply bin it and your database retains its integrity.

 

  • Response rate: The major difference between digital and print, response rates reflect the number of sales or responses to an offer, which in virtually all instances is a sale i.e. conversion rates in digital is a response rate in direct mail.

 

Knowing how to talk the language not only gives you the vocabulary, but helps you establish your authority on the subject. With the right set of tools you can competently recommend direct mail and watch your responses explode.

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:

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email

 

Direct Mail for younger consumers

How to Get Creative with Direct Mail to Attract Younger Consumers

Younger consumers are excited to receive a piece of direct mail

The term ‘millennial’ is overused and bandied about by everyone who wants a piece of the action. But how do you know if you are actually one? Deny it. It’s not a new concept; youth will always exist and they will make you feel inferior and supremely uncool when trying to speak their vernacular. But maybe you shouldn’t try so hard. Skinny jeans—the things from the Eighties you said you’d never wear again, but almost considered buying last week—have been and fled. And now the Nineties are back with a vengeance. Trend is not isolated solely to fashion: direct mail for young adults is back.

If you want creative direct mail that caters to a younger audience then you have to look at how they consume media. While they spend more time online than on all other media combined, they are 32 per cent more likely to agree that they “trust mail more than information they find on the internet.” That’s telling … and an opportunity. Remember the mail millennials have received predominantly up to now is birthday cards, sometimes filled with cash. So now the mail suddenly isn’t so fun.

Nostalgia rates with millennials as it’s one way they can identify with a brand and each other. Music, fashion and childhood foods are great unifiers because they all remind them of a simpler time. One in which they are able to be themselves without scrutiny and having to pose and curate their lives according to what society dictates, nor the responsibility that comes with paying bills. In fact, according to the Royal Mail MarketReach’s new report, The Life Stages of Mail, it reveals that digitally native young people live at home with Mum and Dad. And that’s something to remember when you appeal to them.

 

Instagram is an illusion

While they’re living the high life online, they’re likely brooding in bedrooms to get that perfect Instagram filter and dodging their families with Lana del Rey and Banks blaring in the background. But it’s when they’re at home they’re their most vulnerable and unguarded and according to the report,18 per cent more likely than the general population to welcome direct mail and 32 per cent more likely to find it memorable. Herein lies the potential for creative direct mail.

 

Millennials listen to those they trust

If you’re stumped for direct mail ideas or figuring out how best to approach the direct mail design process, take a look at your target’s content and those they follow to truly understand what will resonate. Fashion, music, dining and food trends are the big ones, but don’t forget YouTubers and other online personalities. Millennials want recommendations from those they trust and seek and value their opinions. Become one of those trusted parties and you will see a huge uplift in your campaigns.

 

Understand their visual language

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of milllenials, or ‘fledglings’ according to the Royal Mail have bought or ordered something as a result of receiving direct mail in the last 12 months and one in three has kept a piece of direct mail for future reference. The latter should govern your direct mail packaging design; it needs to be impactful for their to open it and something they want to keep. Search for direct mail design inspiration in places millennials frequent. Look at the menu in cafés, business cards of places they shop and the typography of websites they browse. These things matter to millennials.

 

Link it to technology

Likewise technology, make sure that it appeals to their online presence and sense of style. Make things look Instagram-worthy so that they share it through their social media channels. Give them an easy opportunity to find out more information and to purchase online, because according to the report, 92 per cent more likely to have used a mobile phone or tablet to respond to mail. Scan the mailer, give them a pURL and make them feel like you’re speaking to them solely.

 

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:

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email

Digital Marketers return to Direct Mail

How Are Digital Marketers Using Direct Mail?

The propaganda from digital marketeers said direct mail was dead. Now they’re retreating with their tails between their legs begging to be let back in. After all, the already powerful direct mail can have even more impact when paired with digital. But how are the digital natives returning to direct mail and why?

The realisation isn’t surprising and we all predicted it; digital would become so big it was impossible to hear the message clearly. But now with technology it’s easier to refine the message and hit the recipient from multiple channels. Direct mail with digital marketing integration can be even more targeted, personalised to specific individuals and an interactive and offline hybrid.

Avoid the Opt-Out All Together
With digital direct mail you can remove yourself from a list easily, and as mobile phone technology evolves, without searching for the unsubscribe button. This is bad news to marketeers as once you’ve lost a contact’s subscription, you’ll have to have a miracle to regain their following. Direct mail is different. Sending something to someone’s house or business is easy, and provided that you’ve acquired their data legally, totally within the eyes of the law.

Consumers throw things in the bin without hesitation, but unless the content is particularly objectionable, they never bother to find out from where it has come or how to get rid of it. Without the worries of email sender reputation, spam filters or IP blocking, provided Royal Mail is doing its job, nothing will stop it from reaching its recipient.

Increased ROI
Just like email marketing direct mail measurement is a dream. By using metrics and KPIs you can understand the insight of campaigns at a glance. Direct mail shares the same measurements as its digital counterpart and it can even improve digital marketing results. Sure digital campaigns can have their impact, but they’re soon forgotten. A follow-up print mail alternative hangs around and can be the one things that converts to purchase. Rather than sending five emails isn’t one direct mail a better use of your time?

Programmatic Direct Mail Marketing
Even the display ad networks and resellers have found it tough of recent years and have had to evolve their strategies to combat ad blockers and decreasing impression rates. Digital advertising and remarketing has now turned to direct mail to convert customers to purchase. With sophisticated algorithms and the ability to track users’ browsing history, products can go from a wish list on the web to a DM flyer in their letterbox the following day. How could your customer possibly resist temptation when something they’ve coveted online comes directly to their hands?

Seamless Synchronisation
Digital marketing is seeing the benefits of direct mail and how it aligns with general marketing objectives. It’s easy to integrate the physical nature of DM with online CRM systems to conduct a more telling and sincere communication with customers and prospects. Nothing beats a birthday card in the post and only DM can convey the emotion to express true gratitude to key customers.

 

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:

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email

Combine Direct Mail and Digital Marketing

How to Combine Direct Mail and Digital Marketing

Direct mail is a much more sophisticated beast than you imagine.

Direct mail climbs new heights with the advancement of digital technology and now, you can take advantage of its potential. It doesn’t require a re-engineering of the way you run your business and marketing, just some tweaks that’ll bolster sales and increase response rates with very little effort.

Citipost Mail put together a study to show how digital integration can change the way you look at direct mail by taking a wider view and more informed approach. Here are those findings:

We already know that direct mail has high response rates: 3.7% from direct mail with a house list and 1% from direct mail and supplied prospect lists. All other forms total less than 1%; mobile, email, social media, paid search and display advertising fade into the distance. And it’s surprising to learn that email and social media are two of the three most popular marketing channels yet, have the lowest rate of response. Direct mail is not as popular but four times as successful as all of them combined.


Social and digital work better with direct mail

These days marketing is never considered in isolation and 44% marketeers use three or more marketing channels for their brands’ campaigns. You too can learn from this initiative and can combine direct mail with digital for even better results. The proof is in its success:

When social network users were sent direct mail, they responded as follows:
• 25% used a coupon
• 19% held onto it for future use
• 15% visited a store
• 10% passed it on
• 9% friend a new product or service

These are impressive results and a great example of how you can merge the offline with the online. Can think of any other ways to replicate that kind of response? Although social media claims to be a great connector, it’s largely impersonal. Direct mail bridges that gap. In fact, 45% of social network users have acted on direct mail they received and 29% who have used a social network in the past 12 months are 29% more likely to be heavy responders to direct mail.


Direct mail increases your total campaign’s effectiveness

When you add direct mail to an email campaign you increase the potential response rate by 26%. That’s huge. And with the capabilities of social media to spread your message to those who weren’t on your prospect list, you can expect that 9% of direct mail responses will be generated via email or social networks.

Direct mail can be used as one component of a multi-faceted campaign. Use various triggers to contact the customer through text, email, app push notifications and inbox messages and work with your postal operator to trigger the action based on the direct mail delivery. They’ll be grateful for the increased volume and have the facilities to realise your direct mail potential as you envisage it.


Track every response and understand it

Tracking direct mail with digital has never been easier and there are numerous ways to make it happen. Use QR codes and pURLs to track online activity and voucher codes to track conversions at various points of sale. To really merge the direct mail and online experience include a NFC chip that with a quick scan, swipe or tap can turn a smartphone into an extension of the mailer—direct mail brought to life. And reporting is even easier with various tools that can monitor social media for brand mentions and to receive more qualitative feedback through comments and commentary.

Direct mail with digital is the future and you can shape what it looks like with your clients and imaginations, just see how Gtech are going from strength to strength here.

Read our case study on how we helped Gtech combine direct mail with digital, resulting in a silver DMA Award and generated £14.4 million in revenue.


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:

Harness the power of digital to execute your direct mail campaigns

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

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.

 

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Why use Direct Mail within your Marketing Mix?

Key Statistics: Direct Mail vs Email