We’ve all heard it; print is dead, we live in a digital world now, mail is a thing of the past. This common misconception could not be any further from the truth. In fact, direct mail is still one of the most effective marketing channels there is.
Did you know that direct mail response rates outperform digital channels by a long shot? According to the 2015 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail achieves an average of 3.7% response rate on a house list and 1% on a prospects list. Now let’s compare that to the 0.62% overall average response rates of digital marketing channels including mobile (0.2%), social media (0.1%), paid search (0.1%), display advertising (.002%) and email (0.1%) combined. Digital channel marketing has become so overly saturated that the results have been on a downward slope for several years.
So where is the disconnect? Why is the common understanding that marketers should be focused on online advertising instead of offline? The reason why is two-fold; unlike direct mail, response is easily trackable through digital channels, thus easier to calculate return on investment and literally everyone has constant access to the internet – thank you smart phones! It’s no wonder that businesses want to ensure a strong online presence. This shift from offline to online marketing has caused a massive saturation of irrelevant messaging to the masses that is so diluted it has dropped to one of the worst response rates of any marketing channel. Now what?
Direct mail is currently experiencing a resurgence in a big way, but with a twist. Omni-channel marketing is quickly growing and becoming a marketing norm amongst businesses world-wide. Marketers have come to realize that the integration of offline and online marketing is what produces the absolute best results and renders the highest return on investment. The importance of creating a unique one to one business to customer experience is essential when implementing an effective omni-channel marketing campaign. Who wouldn’t want to pin-point target market to a single person on the budget of marketing to the masses?
Let’s take a look at how this works. A direct mail piece is designed, printed and mailed to a targeted audience promoting a specific product or service with an enticing offer. Some people (very few, but some) are going to pick up the phone and call to find out more details about the offer. These people can be tracked through a call tracking number that is used specifically on the mail pieces. Every call that comes in will be tracked, recorded and available for playback. Although the initial calls will most likely be low, 90% of people who are interested are going to visit the website first before making the decision to call or walk into a brick and mortar. Now here’s where things get interesting. According to Google Analytics, 96% of people who visit a website will leave without taking any sort of an action. They will not purchase, fill out a form, donate, register, buy – they will not convert. Does that mean that the direct mail did not work? No! Direct mail generated interest and brand awareness for that product or service however most people will do their due diligence and shop around, research, discuss with their spouse, etc. so they will not make an immediate decision to buy or even contact the company.
What happens to those unique visitors that came to the website as a result of the mail piece? With a standard direct mail campaign, absolutely nothing. The business can simply hope that they’ll remember that they were interested, return to the site and convert. Not likely. So here is where pinpoint target marketing comes to life through digital channels. Each unique visitor is given a special Google cookie code. This communicates to Google that this person went to the marketer’s website. Then, when they leave the website, they are followed throughout the Google Display Network with a banner ad that promotes the same product or service offering as the direct mail piece. These visitors will be followed day after day, week after week until they decide to return to the website and convert. The repetition online to only the specific people who were interested is what has been proven to enhance overall response rates by 20-50% on average. Wow! Think about what that would do for the marketer’s ROI.
It’s time to stop fighting between offline and online marketing solutions. Reach across the aisle and become a full service marketing provider with an integrated marketing solution for your clients today.
For more information and statistics on what DirectMail2.0 can do for your clients please download this report: Seamless Tracking. Better Results