There is a common misconception that direct mail is a thing of the past. Don’t believe the hype; direct mail is still very much alive. Even Google itself, one of the largest online advertising platforms, uses direct mail consistently to promote their online advertising services.
If anyone tells you that direct mail is dead, chances are they never learned how to use it correctly. When done well, direct mail can produce incredible results and can be like having an army of salespeople working hard for you 24/7.
So how should you use direct mail?
1. Make it different
With direct mail, you have so many options to make your advertising different – to make a connection with your customers in a way that no other similar companies can. You can come up with something crazy, unique and inventive just like IKEA’s 3D popup Lack Side Table idea. Or WWF Earth Hour’s clever candle box message. Or Green Belgium’s World Water Day letter.
2. Make it interesting
The “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me?) rule is just as important as making your direct mail stand out. It’s the stuff that makes the receiver show enough interest to consider the next step. When your prospects are reading your direct mail pieces, they are thinking – “why should I pay attention to this?”. Be sure to give them a reason.
3. Provide a call-to-action
People can be fickle and unless they are given clear instructions as to what to do next, they might forget you altogether. No matter the form of advertising, a clear call-to-action is crucial. Before creating your mail, define your goals. Ask yourself:
- What action do I want my readers to take?
- What benefit will they get from taking that action?
- How will they know what to do?
How to integrate direct mail with your other marketing campaigns
The first step in integrating your direct mail with your other marketing campaigns is to stop viewing your strategies as separate categories: social media, direct mail, TV, email, text (SMS) etc. Separating these forms can be a big mistake.
When these various methods are combined, they create powerful marketing synergy that can convert potential leads extremely effectively. Your holistic approach leverages as much influence as possible.
Linking direct mail to your online marketing efforts might not be as hard as you think. Here are a few ideas…
Insist that everyone is on the same page
For an authentic campaign across a variety of mediums, your entire marketing team should be on the same page. It’s no good having one person work on social media, another work on print, and another work on email – they must all work together. Don’t, of course, make them the same (your marketing should always be designed specifically to suit the medium), but do ensure that they compliment each other.
Encourage recipients to go online
Driving customers online to your website enhances the brand experience, as well as keeps the engagement going. Take it further by encouraging them to visit the website via a specific URL or landing page, which will help you monitor the success of your direct mail campaign. Learn things like location, demographics, referrals and conversions, all of which will help you build future campaign strategies and expectations.
Offer more online
You need to give your direct mail recipients a reason to visit your website and a reason to stay interested. If they’ve gone to the effort of going online, it means they want more information about your business, so make sure you give it to them. Online content should tell readers more about your business, services and industry, allowing you to naturally produce qualified leads instead of seeking them out.
Offer exclusive benefits
Encouraging your direct mail recipients to subscribe to a mailing list will be a whole lot easier if you give them a reason to. Among the top reasons why consumers subscribe to mailing lists is the promise of hot new sales, deals and news notifications, as well as exclusive coupons and savings.
Quick response (QR) codes are ideal for using in direct mail to drive consumers to microsites created for mobile users. QR codes create endless mobile experiences, such as engaging in social media, sharing videos, educating buyers, conducting a survey, driving mobile commerce, encouraging mobile app downloads, and building loyalty. You can then intelligently map your mobile engagements to elicit a desired outcome.
Collect email addresses with a postcard campaign
You want email addresses for your leads because email provides an extremely affordable way to stay in front of customers and prospects alike. Also, it’s an excellent way to follow up with leads who opt in to your mailing list.
As great as online marketing strategies are, the fact is that direct mail stands a far higher chance of being read than an email or online advertisement. The more consistently you mail, and the more integrated it is with your other marketing campaigns, and the more likely you are to increase awareness of your business.