Did you know that Amazon mailed out toy catalogs during the 2020 and 2021 holiday seasons? Yes, printed catalogs. Why would one of the world’s most tech-forward brands invest in a strategy like direct mail?
Even big tech companies like Amazon know that while digital marketing is still a smart strategy, it shouldn’t be the only focus. Thanks to:
- Ad blockers
- The death of cookies
- Increased competition
The digital space isn’t the marketing goldmine it once was. When digital media starts to get too crowded, brands need to engage with consumers in real life. Your brand needs something tactile that engages consumers with their senses, and direct mail does just that.
That’s right: direct mail is making a serious comeback in 2022. Learn why direct mail is still a great option in the 21st century, as well as five top tips to help you master direct mail.
The 5 (surprisingly relevant) benefits of direct mail
The pandemic showed us that brands need to reach customers in different ways, which sometimes means going back to old-school marketing.
After all, direct mail has been a popular strategy for decades. And do you know why? Because it works!
1. Digital spaces are crowded
People send and receive an average of 333 emails per day. But they only get an average of 2 pieces of snail mail a day. Mathematically speaking, you stand a better chance of getting people’s attention with direct mail campaigns than you do with email.
2. Direct mail engages more senses
Are you sick of looking at screens all day? Consumers are, too.
There’s something about touching a physical object, like direct mail, that gets people’s attention. And in a world overrun with screens, sometimes it’s nice to read something on paper.
Direct mail is also a chance to consider something bigger than paper. A branded box or small token, like a magnet or webcam cover, will engage your customers again and again.
3. Direct mail complements omnichannel marketing
Who says you have to drop your other marketing efforts in favor of direct mail? Direct mail should be one of many touches you make with consumers for omnichannel campaigns.
Since direct mail response rates are five to nine times higher than any other channel, this can be a great way to do the first touch. Add a QR code onto your mailers to bring the experience online and pull consumers through your funnel.
4. Direct mail is easier to manage
Do you run paid ads for your business? If so, you know how hard it is to manage your budget. Even if you set an advertising budget, Facebook and Google have a way of busting through those resources if it means bringing in more clicks.
That isn’t always bad, but if you need more management over your marketing costs, direct mail is easier to control. There are no nasty surprises, just transparent pricing for your printing and postage costs.
Plus, there’s no need to learn how a platform works or go through a lengthy certification process. Direct mail platforms are simple to use with little need for training. Good direct mail platforms will either pair you with a representative who handles everything or guide you through a simple setup wizard.
5. Direct mail is surprisingly data-centric
Brands love how trackable digital marketing is, but direct mail can be just as accountable. It’s possible to segment your audience as effectively as you do with digital. Market yourself to a particular geographic area or segment your campaigns for specific household incomes—the sky is the limit! As long as your data is clean, you can segment just as easily with direct mail.
How to do direct mail right in 2022
Direct mail is still a popular way to grow your business, but it can be unfamiliar to this generation of marketers. If you’ve never tried direct mail before, don’t worry. These five tips can help you make the most of your investment in direct mail.
1. Order samples
Look, things can go awry at the printer. This is why it’s important to design your direct mail campaigns at least three months ahead of your launch date.
Order samples to make sure everything is printing precisely how you want it to look. If you’re including a promo item like a magnet, stickers, or flatter objects like webcam covers, be sure to order a sample of those as well. Check the colors, spacing, and layout, and proofread to catch typos.
2. Make your mailers trackable
Did you know that direct mail is trackable? All you need to do is add:
- QR codes
- Custom URLs
- Unique codes
- Unique phone numbers
- Branding hashtags or taglines
to the direct mail pieces. This allows you to distinguish which customers came from your direct mail campaigns when they convert.
3. Conduct split tests
Split tests aren’t just for emails or paid ads. If you plan your direct mail campaign several months in advance, you’ll have the time to do small split tests before your official launch date.
Change one component on each direct mail piece, like the color or call to action. Assign each piece a different tracking code so you can tell which is more effective at converting your customers.
From there, use the more successful piece during your official campaign launch. This is a great way to optimize your direct mail costs while improving conversions.
4. Retarget with direct mail
Retargeting ads are great, but have you tried retargeting with direct mail? As long as you’re collecting the correct data, you can re-engage with customers who connected with you via your website, ads, or social media.
Try continuing the conversation with a direct mail piece that incentivizes interaction. That might mean offering a unique discount code, gifts, or BOGO deals to grab your customers’ attention.
5. Personalize as much as you can
Consumers are looking for targeted mail, and 70% say direct mail is more personal than online marketing interactions. Nobody likes generic marketing, so you need to make your direct mail pieces as personalized as possible.
That doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, either: just adding the consumers’ name increases direct mail response rates by 135%. You can also personalize your pieces with product photos, user-generated content, or local maps.
Direct mail is the solution
Digital marketing is a great asset to your brand, but direct mail can be just as rewarding. Consumers are over-stimulated with digital channels, and brands aren’t getting as much traction as they once did.
Direct mail is the zombie of marketing: it died once, but now it’s back and means business. Print media might seem old-fashioned, but it’s an effective way to engage with consumers in the physical world.
Of course, if you’ve never done direct mail before, it can feel overwhelming. Don’t move forward alone: partner with Boundless to make the most of your direct mail campaigns. We’re here to help you meet your consumers' expectations, stay within budget, hit your deadlines, and cultivate Brand Love moments. See how our process works.