One of the most effective marketing tools of the 20th century and beyond, direct mail-marketing has been a bastion of good results for businesses trying to drum up new customers and rally current ones to new levels of purchasing for decades and decades. Many people, however, have begun to question whether or not its effectiveness is worth the cost now that we’re firmly planted in the Internet Age.
With social networking sites popping up what seems like multiple times a day, and email’s free siren call always beckoning, why should anyone put their eggs into the direct-mail basket? For the 21st century marketer who wants to ensure she has every working trick up her sleeve, here are five reasons why direct mail is still totally worth it.
1. It’s Easy
Direct mail is one of the easiest methods of marketing that exists. Because it’s been a tool of businesses and marketers for so long, there is already a process in place, and there’s no reason to waste precious time and resources coming up with a new one, because â€” to put it simply â€” it works. All you need to pull off a direct-mail campaign is a top-notch mailing list, a well-thought-out message, and high-quality branding. The latter two are prerequisites regardless of the kind of marketing campaign you’re waging, and the first is a reflection of how well you know your demographic â€” another piece of every marketing strategy’s puzzle. Beyond that, there’s no learning curve to consider. It’s a surprisingly basic way to go about letting people know what your business is up to.
2. Messages Can Be Tailored
Because direct mail can be easily tailored to different groups within your mailing list, you never have to aim for the lowest common denominator with a one-message-fits-all approach. Tailoring your message to various target groups not only increases the chances your message will land in the way you want it to, it also protects you from spending money unnecessarily on marketing that you know isn’t going to be effective. Of course, if you want to send the same piece of mail to everyone within your mailing list, that’s an option, too. In whatever ways you want to get specific with your message, direct mail can accommodate you. Try getting a billboard to do that.
3. It’s Measurable
Few things in business are as frustrating as not knowing which aspects of your marketing are yielding the best â€” and the worst â€” results. Because every direct-mail campaign is measurable, youâ€™ll never have to wonder whether or not your message is getting through to your customers. I have seen companies like this use this strategy with a great amount of success. Measurable codes can be included along with each piece of mail you send out, and different groups can get different codes, so you’ll be able to really know which of your messages is yielding results.
4. It’s Versatile
The versatility of direct mail is one of its best features. From targeting very large groups to aiming for very specific demographics, direct mail is as adaptable as your marketing needs are. Unlike other forms of advertising, direct mail allows you to:
- Test your message on a smaller group to see what works and what doesn’t before spending a lot of money on a large campaign.
- Choose the mailer that suits your message best. Mailers come in all shapes and sizes, so you can include a lot of information or a little.
- Stay within the confines of whatever budget you’re working with.
- Alter messages to take into account the seasons, current events, specific locales, and more.
5. It’s Effective
Perhaps the most important reason direct-mail marketing should be considered is that it’s effective. Even in the age of smartphones and tablets, direct mail packs a formidable return on investment punch. Almost everyone picks up and sorts through their mail on a daily basis, and even of your mailer is tossed in the recycling bin, brand recognition is still strengthened, but direct mail offers much more than brand recognition opportunities.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, the effectiveness of email â€” digital marketing’s continual reigning ROI champion â€” sits around .12 percent. Compare that to direct mail, which boasts a return on investment of 2 percent with unspecified mass mailings and 3.4 percent with targeted mailings. If you want something that’s going to work, direct mail is a best bet.
So, don’t believe the hype. Email and online social media sites may have billions of users and boast a low upfront advertising cost, but for real results, direct mail is still the once and future king.