With more companies evaluating their ad spend and marketing budgets, many believe they should gravitate to advertising tactics like virtual reality, digital ads and boosted social posts. However, companies have discovered these ad tactics often don't yield the same results as traditional marketing strategies. Now, many brands are turning to direct mail. The $44.2 billion direct mail industry continues to thrive, even in a digital age, and this is because it is a tried-and-true marketing tactic that gets results for advertisers.
Direct Mail Still Counts
Money Mailer is a good example of how direct mail is still delivering in the digital age. Last year, they mailed over 7 billion coupons, with an advertising value of $1 billion. According to John Patinella, CEO of Money Mailer, direct mail is effective because "giving, receiving and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience." The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) revealed that the response rate to direct mail pieces is much higher at 5.1%, which is nearly three times the average response rate of email, paid search, online display and social media combined." Although consumers rely on their smartphones, there is still a pleasant "tactile experience" from touching and using physical coupons.
Patinella explained, "According to research by the Indiana Digital, consumers have experienced a 38% increase in oxytocin levels, a hormone associated with love and happiness, when receiving paper coupons. It's no wonder why direct mail coupons continue to remain viable.
Millennials Like Direct Mail
Despite being glued to their smartphones, InfoTrends found that 38% of Millennials prefer direct mail while only 26% like email marketing. The same study reported that 25% of Millennials view reading direct mail as a leisure activity. The USPS found that 47% of Millennials check their physical mailbox each day and also spend more time going through the mail they receive.
However, since Millennials do also spend considerable time online, many marketers have now turned to hybrid tactics. These tactics transition the Millennial direct mail reader to view related information online. For example, direct mail ads with QR codes and scannable coupons leverage Millennials' combined channel interests.
Benefits For Any Industry
Direct mail is also a proven way to get advertising messages in consumers' hands. "When consumers receive the Money Mailer envelope in their mailbox, 'Patinella noted, "it is the food offer visible through the front window that gets them to open the envelope, month after month. Once the consumer is inside, they go through each of the ads to find savings on other local products and services."
Over the years, Money Mailer has become increasingly hyper-focused on delivering local, quality content in their direct mail envelopes. Neighborhood consumers view advertisers as a "local brand." Good local content is what gets Money Mailer's envelopes opened. And, more open envelopes mean more redemptions for Money Mailer advertisers.
Direct Mail Best Practices
Throughout Money Mailer's direct mail coupons, one thing you will usually see is a call-to-action to prompt the recipient to do something. These include things like putting expiration dates on offers or directing the consumer to another channel like online, mobile, or print using personalized URL's, coupon codes, QR codes, reply codes, and printed coupons.
It is also best to make the direct mail piece as informative as possible to capture their attention. Use logos, visuals, charts, and targeted content to make direct mail a leisure activity. A geolocation could be used to encourage a call-to-action to visit a local storefront. Lastly, research the demographics in your area to align your message and visuals with your audience's preferences and interests.