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Delivering Delight: Why Direct Mail Is Making A Comeback In Marketing

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Why Direct Mail Is Making A Comeback In Marketing

We’ve all been there. Stuck in the quagmire of online chaos. Maybe you've spent hours, days, or even weeks perfecting that email campaign only to see it get a measly open rate.

Perhaps you've thrown good money after bad on social media ads that are as effective as throwing pennies into a wishing well.

Your audience is overwhelmed, suffering from digital fatigue, and your messages are getting lost in the shuffle. They're drowning in a sea of uninspiring emails, click-bait social media ads, and endless digital noise.

So that brings us to the $64,000 question - or maybe for you, the million-dollar question: Is there a better way to reach my audience?

You could keep throwing your marketing dollars into the black hole of digital advertising, hoping for a different outcome (and you know what they say about doing the same thing and expecting different results).

Or you could shake things up.

The answer to your woes is a resounding 'Yes,' and it's simpler than you think. Forget what the 'gurus' are saying about the latest shiny object in digital marketing.

Enter Direct Mail, the tried-and-true workhorse of direct marketing. Laugh all you want about it being 'old-school,' but this is one school that's back in session. We're talking about a medium that people can touch, feel, and most importantly, remember.

I know what you're thinking: "Direct Mail? Really?" Yes, really.

Think it’s outdated? Think again.

Just like vinyl records and classic cars, Direct Mail is making a remarkable comeback. It's not just surviving; it's thriving.

The Digital Noise Dilemma: Where Ads Go to Die

I’m not anti-digital. I use it myself.

Digital marketing has its perks, but let’s get real here. You’re not the only game in town, not by a long shot. Your prospects are navigating a battlefield of pop-ups, banner ads, and those annoying video ads that autoplay without even the courtesy of a 'hello.'

It's like walking through Times Square with billboards screaming at you from every direction.

Example: Take Jane Doe, for instance. She opens her email to find 50 unread messages. Thirty of those are promotional emails, all begging for a click.

What does she do?

She hits 'Select All' and then the trash icon, faster than you can say "But wait, there's more!" Your carefully crafted email?

Gone, without a second glance.

Enter Direct Mail: Your Secret Weapon

Enter Direct Mail

That’s what I’m getting at. In a world of digital cacophony, Direct Mail is like a handwritten letter from a long-lost friend. It avoids this digital overwhelm entirely, offering an oasis of calm.

When Jane Doe checks her physical mailbox, your message is there - tangible, physical, and refreshingly quiet amid the din.

She holds it, she feels it, and because you've done your homework, she opens it.

The Surprise and Delight Factor

Direct Mail isn't just about sending a letter or a flyer. It's about delivering delight. It’s a tactile experience - a welcome guest in your customer’s home. The recipient can touch it, read it, and refer back to it.

And if done right, it could end up on their fridge, not their trash can. That’s staying power you won’t get from a fleeting tweet or an email buried under spam.

Here's a real-life scenario for you: Meet John, a small-business owner swamped with responsibilities. He rarely has time to scroll through his overcrowded inbox or the ‘promotions’ folder where your digital marketing efforts are likely gathering digital dust.


But when John walks to his mailbox and finds a well-designed, compelling piece of Direct Mail from you - say, a glossy postcard with a discount code on one of your products - he doesn't just skim it and forget it. Oh no, he sticks it on his fridge with a magnet, right next to his grocery list and his kid’s artwork.

And there it stays. Every time John walks by, there's your brand, living rent-free in his daily life, waiting for the day he decides to pull the trigger and take you up on that offer.

Your message has just gone from a fleeting thought to a household name. That’s the type of staying power Direct Mail offers - a prime spot on the family fridge, miles away from the digital junkyard.

That's the magic of Direct Mail: It's not just a message; it's a physical presence in your prospect's world, and if you play your cards right, it might just become a permanent fixture.

Results Speak Louder Than Hype

Results Speak Louder Than Hype

Skeptical about Direct Mail's efficacy? Consider this: Direct Mail boasts an impressive open rate of 80-90%. Compare that to a typical email open rate of 20-30%, and the numbers speak for themselves.

More eyes on your message mean more opportunities for conversion. It's a no-brainer, really.

Example: Imagine you're running a local Italian restaurant, "Mama's Kitchen," and you're about to launch a new pasta dish. You decide to pull out all the stops and run a dual marketing campaign. You send out 1,000 emails with a special discount code for the new dish and at the same time, mail 1,000 postcards with the same offer.

With a typical email open rate of 20-30%, you can expect that only about 200-300 people will even see your offer. Even then, the click-through and conversion rates are a whole other ball game. Now, let's look at the Direct Mail side of things. With an open rate of 80-90%, you're looking at 800-900 people actually interacting with your message.

The following week, your restaurant sees a spike in orders for the new pasta dish. And guess where the bulk of those orders came from? Yep, you guessed it - the Direct Mail campaign!

The postcards didn't just land in the mailbox; they made it onto kitchen counters, refrigerator doors, and yes, into the hearts and minds of your local diners. That's not just an open rate; that’s an engagement rate.

Numbers don't lie, but they also don't tell the whole story. The tangible, lasting impact of Direct Mail isn’t just in the stats; it's in the stories of businesses that watch their conversion rates climb and their customer base grow. Now tell me, is this a bandwagon you can afford to not jump on?

It’s All About the Approach

Effective Direct Mail isn't a shot in the dark; it's a precise, calculated effort.

It starts with a strong list - people who want or need what you're selling. It demands compelling copy that addresses the recipient's problem and how your product or service solves it.

The design should be engaging but not overwhelming, guiding the reader’s eye naturally from headline to CTA. And for heaven's sake, have a compelling offer. Make them an offer they can't refuse, and half your battle is won.

The Multiplier Effect

The beauty of Direct Mail is that it can effortlessly integrate into your existing marketing ecosystem. You send an engaging piece of Direct Mail, and the recipient goes online to learn more about your offer.

They're more likely to open your future emails, click on your ads, or visit your website. In essence, Direct Mail serves as a multiplier, augmenting your digital efforts.

The Multiplier Effect

The Tangibility Trump Card

The physicality of Direct Mail offers another unique advantage: staying power. A well-designed mailer doesn't just get read; it gets kept.

People stash useful or interesting mailers in drawers, pin them to boards, or even pass them on to friends or family. Try doing that with an email.

Pulling The Trigger

So, you’re convinced that Direct Mail deserves a slot in your marketing arsenal. Now, what's the next step?

Action. Pure, unadulterated action. Listen, I see too many businesses get stuck in this endless loop of strategizing, analyzing, and then procrastinating. I call it "paralysis by analysis." Don't be that guy.

Planning is essential, but don't use it as an excuse to delay. The perfect time to start your Direct Mail campaign was yesterday. The next best time? It’s not next week. It’s not after your quarterly review. It’s right now, today.

Sure, Direct Mail involves some logistics - list building, design, copywriting, etc. - but these aren’t barriers; they’re just steps on the ladder to success.

Pull the trigger, but don’t shoot from the hip.

Do your research, tailor your message, and aim for your target audience. But once you've got all your sights set - fire away! The worst thing you can do is nothing at all. Even a failed Direct Mail campaign teaches you something. And what you learn will make your next campaign that much more potent.

Here's something else to mull over. Every day you're not using Direct Mail, you're probably wasting money on less effective channels. How many potential customers are you not reaching?

How many are drifting into the arms of competitors who had the good sense to engage them through multiple channels? Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish; invest where it counts.

And remember, the true value of Direct Mail doesn't always show up on the first go. You're building something bigger: brand recognition, customer trust, and a multi-faceted approach to marketing that respects your customers as individuals, not just clicks or impressions.

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