Despite technological advances throughout the years, from the fax machine to email to social media, all of these arrived with the intention of nullifying direct mail completely, and all failed to do so.

Of course, these may have each taken a chunk out of the direct mail market, but failed to make a dent in the successes of direct marketing, ultimately proving the longevity of this efficient system.

Direct marketing in the hands of the consumer

In a world where we are bombarded with digital correspondence, direct mail may now be making a bigger comeback than ever before. The ability to put your hands on marketing materials that are not digitalised is now much rarer than receiving an email.

Leveraging the power of direct marketing, is now more important than ever, with many marketers now forgoing direct mail entirely, often due to just one bad campaign experience. However, smart Marketing professionals will understand the edge that direct mail can offer, how it works in tandem with their digital efforts and use it to their competitive advantage.

Barriers within digital marketing

The general consensus amongst marketers is that email is faster and cheaper and fits into the digital focused lives that the majority of consumers now lead. Despite this, digital overload can be a problem, with marketing messages lost amongst a sea of competitor noise.

There are a number of problems that can arise with email marketing, from digital glitches causing frequent issues for marketers worldwide. Not only is digital marketing fighting in a saturated environment, but are also at the whim of the email provider and the customer. Emails can be instantly sent to the trash if the subject line is not immediately eye-catching or the brand is not appropriate.

Secondly, emails can end up in the spam or junk folder, this can be down to the number of attributes from the content to the users’ settings, which are often beyond the control of the marketer.

Finally, your emails are competing in a sea of other emails that fall into your customer’s inbox each day, which may not be checked, no longer be used or may not display correctly on their device.

So why direct mail marketing?

Direct mail offers significant competitive advantages over digital marketing efforts. Although it may not always be as finitely measurable, it is proven to create an increased response over digital media along with an improvement in ROI.

1. Direct mail avoids the email inbox overload and now operates in a space where there is considerably less noise. With the way that an email inbox works, if a user fails to check their email for a day or simply gets too many, your message might be lost within the stack, resulting in it being sent to the trash unopened or ignored entirely.

2. Direct mail allows marketers to personalise their message not just regarding personal details, but also to allow specific offers for your customer. Your message is not only shown to your consumer, but it enters the home and joins your prospective customers at the dining table. With highly customisable and interactive options, direct mail now keeps its head above the water in a sea of unsolicited and unwelcome emails.

3. With greater use of technology, comes a decrease in trust of the correspondence that we receive. With more phishing scams and spam than ever before, audiences are less likely to open unfamiliar emails and more likely to trash them before batting an eyelid. Direct mail doesn’t come with same threats and therefore is more likely to be opened, with additional attachments (free gifts, samples or vouchers) often a good thing rather than a red flag.

4. The variety of options when it comes to direct mail are tactile, expansive and more capable of manipulating consumer emotions. Reflecting the feel good factor of a coloured envelope often used for holiday greetings or birthday cards can assist in invoking a the excitement we might feel for ‘special’ mail. Alternatively, bulky mail, full of goodies and samples, may feel more like receiving a gift than an advertisement. It often leads to consumers intrigued and consequently opening the correspondence.

5. Due largely to the over-use of digital channels Direct Mail now has increased rarity and therefore creates a greater impact, especially with the younger generations who are almost indifferent to e-mail due to constant exposure. Obviously, the call to action in these segments must be very simple and link easily into digital methods, but the ability of direct mail to create a first impression and immediately increase awareness of your brand is second to none

It is important to consider all marketing channels when producing a marketing plan, but with such a high number of businesses relinquishing their direct mail efforts in favour of digital, there is no better time to optimise your direct mail efforts. At Absolute, we are experts in designing and implementing multi-channel campaigns that return optimum response rates. Speak to us now for more information!