Direct mail and digital marketing: a match made in marketing heaven
This isn’t dinosaurs versus robots; old versus young; traditional versus progressive. This is taking two incredible marketing mediums, and making them work together for better impact, better ROI, and a better brand.
Insisting we choose between direct mail and digital is like saying we can’t pick up a paperback after investing in a Kindle. It doesn’t have to be either/or – and the same goes for our marketing methods.
Direct mail was once all the rage; with the dawning of the digital era, mail did wane in popularity for a time – but like all good things, it’s back with a vengeance. And it’s more relevant than ever.
We’re a mix of tech-savvy and tactile: we love to have the option of heading online and seeing things delivered straight to our inbox, but we also like the physical feel and more permanent nature of receiving something in the post. It feels more personal somehow. It’s also a welcome relief from the screen-time burnout a lot of us have been feeling through lockdown.
And for any sales or marketing team worth its salt, the combination of these two revenue-generating giants is an opportunity not to be missed.
Mail has moved with the times
Any customer journey has three crucial stages:
- Activation: grabbing the customer’s attention
- Nurture: engaging the customer to cement the relationship
- Reactivation: driving customer retention and loyalty
Building tangible connections with customers is key to conversion, and direct mail is often the best way to cut through the noise of a highly saturated market. Direct mail that nudges people online is even better.
Mail has come a long way in recent years: the mail of today is data-driven, personalised, and can be highly targeted to your specific audience. It has the potential to reach more people, and tends to be viewed more frequently. Mail can also be fully automated and measured in real-time – helping marketing teams to identify response rates, conversion, and that all-important ROI.
And the figures speak for themselves.
A Royal Mail study showed that 100,000 pieces of direct mail received via door drop converted to 280,000 impressions, and were shared 4,000 times; those partially addressed converted to 390,000 impressions, and were shared 7,000 times, while mail that was fully addressed converted to 440,000 impressions, and was shared 11,000 times.
This beats digital open rates hands down – where 100,000 emails sent converted to just 20,000 of emails opened.
That’s not to say direct mail is better; it just means that post can be the most impactful way to approach the activation stage of the customer journey.
A multichannel mix brings better engagement
As with any perfect pairing, direct mail and digital have a balance of strengths, and areas where the other has to pick up the slack.
- Direct mail commands authority, nurtures trust, captures attention, prompts action, and informs decision-making. But if done badly and unsustainably, it can feel intrusive and present an environmental concern.
- Digital is easy to share, provides instant updates and alerts, and gives customers the option to click through. It goes wherever a person’s device does, and is easy to unsubscribe from. But it’s not always seen (hello junk folder!), can be non-responsive in the event of display issues, and often gets lost amid digital bombardment.
But used together, direct mail and digital marketing are a match made in marketing heaven.
Adding mail to the marketing mix has been found to boost ROI by 12%, while consumers who saw mail first spent 30% longer looking at related social media and advertising. There’s also the 42% of 15-44 year-olds who searched for information about a company via a connected device as a result of receiving mail in the last 12 months – making mail a marketer’s dream when it comes to converting interest into action.
Every marketing channel has its place. Mail is primed for permanence, TV is great for appealing to the masses, social media holds its own when it comes to engagement, and emails are ideal for instant updates. None of these avenues should be used in silo, because great things happen when they come together.
Great campaigns demand balance
The most effective marketing campaigns make use of multiple channels for maximum reach and engagement, but they have to be delivered with seamless integration to reap the full benefits.
For any business, it’s important to consider how mail fits into the mix, and where it should sit in your campaign timeline: is it designed to build on other media, or will this be the first communication from your company? What other channels are you planning to use? And perhaps most importantly, where do you want consumers to go next, and what do you want them to do when they get there?
Get those questions straight in your mind, and you’ll be ready to kick-off a multi-channel campaign that brings your brand out of the shadows and into the spotlight of a post-lockdown world.
To find out more about our direct mail, production and fulfilment services, and to learn how we can make sure your mail stands out, contact our friendly team.
Get in touch
To find out more about our print & mail services, and to learn how we can ensure your mail stands out, contact our friendly team today:
Royal Mail and Adding Value 2020
Royal Mail MarketReach Mail Matters More Than Ever 2020