These days there are so many ways to reach customers – from more traditional forms of marketing like direct mail and telephone calls, to mobile and online marketing. So it can be hard for businesses to know what the best strategy to use. A helpful place to start is by looking at consumer preference – i.e. how do customers prefer to receive updates from businesses? Below, we look at email marketing and direct mail as the top marketing preferences of consumers.
1. Direct mail
Direct mail is a form of marketing that involves sending printed material to customers via the post. It generally includes things like brochures, catalogues, and special discount coupons, among others, with the aim of updating existing and potential customers about your business and any special promotions.
While direct mail may seem like an outdated form of marketing with so many businesses moving their marketing efforts into digital spaces, direct mail remains a valued form of marketing from a consumer perspective. A study from Small Biz Trends found that 59% of respondents enjoy receiving mail about new products and 56% find print marketing to be more trustworthy than online marketing.
80-90% of mail is opened by the person receiving it and the response rate is generally around 3.7% as opposed to 2% of email and 1% for social media. So why do people act on direct mail?
Why do customers prefer direct mail?
There is something very personal about opening a letter that has come in the post, rather than reading something online. Many customers appreciate the time and effort that goes into this form of advertising and tend to place more value on something that is physical.
Direct mail allows businesses to communicate with customers one-on-one and people are more likely to be responsive as your message is being communicated to them at time of their choosing. Unlike mobile marketing and online pop ups, which can reach customers at any time, those receiving direct mail are able to choose the time they open your letter and read it.
The benefit of direct mail for your business
Direct mail as a form of marketing is both cost-effective and measureable. You’re able to segment the market and target specific individuals through direct mail. Limiting your output to targeted individuals means you’re able to maximise return on time and money spent, as well as minimise wastage. By including things like discount coupons and call to actions to your business’s website, you’re able to track and measure the response to your mail and ensure you’re getting a return on your investment.
2. Email marketing
Email was one of the very first Internet marketing tools, so in some ways it has become nearly as traditional as direct mail marketing. It involves sending updates and promotions about your business via email and can include things like newsletters, special discount coupons, and catalogues.
The benefit of email marketing is that it can go one step further than direct mail by including links to social media and websites, as well as video content, which makes it particularly popular among younger generations, as well as older. According to a study from Adestra, Millennials still prefer email marketing over social and mobile, with nearly 73% preferring to receive communication from a business via email.
Why do customers prefer email marketing?
Again, the appeal of email marketing is that customers are in control of when and how they receive the communications. The study from Adestra found that 86% of all consumers surveyed said they use their smartphone for emails and many do not immediately open and read an email upon receiving it, with 59% saying they would leave an email unread if they plan to read it at a later time. This power of over consumption, as well as having the option to unsubscribe from emailing lists, allows the consumer to feel as though they’re in control and is the biggest appeal of emailing marketing to consumers, as well as the convenience of hyperlinks.
The benefit of email marketing for your business
Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to quickly reach your customers with personal and trackable messages.
Firstly, it doesn’t require a lot of time to do. You can simply put together a recurring template, then customise the wording each time you send an email. You can also personalise the message by using different copy depending on the demographic of the consumer you are emailing. Because it doesn’t take long to put together a message, you have the option to send more frequent messages.
Finally, it’s also easy to track the success of your email marketing campaign. You’re able to track information like how many people opened the email, and how many people unsubscribed from the list, which can help you learn whether you are getting a return. It’s also cheap as there is no need to pay for design work or printing.
Integrate direct mail and email marketing into your business strategy
Customer preference is crucial to the success of your marketing efforts. Customers place particular value upon receiving personalised messages from businesses through direct mail and email marketing, so make sure to pay attention to what your customers are responding to, to ensure you’re getting the best return on your investment.
Find out more about creating a successful direct mail or email marketing campaign by contacting Blue Star DIRECT.