As technology progresses, companies are constantly trying to find new ways to grow their sales through clientele. However, it has been shown that the tried-and-true method of brand communication, direct mail, remains the most effective. Even new, modern companies who target young audiences are utilizing direct mail to reach their audience in a more personal way, and the results are higher sales and more brand awareness.
In a 2012 Epsilon channel preference study, 73% of U.S. consumers stated that they prefer direct mail for brand communication. The overwhelming sentiment was that customers felt more at ease, as they were able to read the information at their own convenience. In a world of obnoxious internet pop-up ads, it seems that customers feel more relaxed with a less in-your-face approach.
An interesting piece of mail could be the topic of conversation in a household for weeks, while an email or social media ad can be opened and ignored, deleted, or scrolled past in the matter of a few seconds. According to RetailWire, the average lifespan of a direct mail advertisement is 17 days, while the lifetime of an email advertisement is a few seconds.
Direct mail campaigns offer a blank canvas. There is a wide variety of fonts, colors, styles, and textures of paper that can make a certain brand stand out. Experts estimate that U.S. adults see somewhere from 4,000 to 10,000 online ads per day. While brands may use enticing graphic design tactics in online ads, the effects are dulled due to the large volume of ads a person sees per day, making it difficult for brands to stand out. However, a person may receive around 5-10 pieces of mail a day, which allows much more room for creative direction that will attract attention easily.
Studies have shown that direct mail marketing results in higher response rates than other marketing strategies. According to data collected by the Direct Marketing Association, the average response rate for direct mail was 4.4%, while email advertisements yielded only a .12% response rate.
In order for your direct mail piece to stand out, it is important to grab a future customer’s attention with a call-to-action or catchphrase. It is also crucial to include your company or sales team’s contact information, a URL, or a place for the customer to fill out their information and return the mail piece so the customer has easy access to your sales funnel.
Certain aspects of direct mail campaigns may influence your customer’s feelings about your business. For example, Lead Concepts has found that asking your client base to include their address could potentially defer them from contacting you. If you are not getting desirable results out of your direct mail campaign, you may also consider changing aspects like what time of year you send your mailers or who you send them to. However, keeping track of your lead analytics is challenging, and you may want to enlist help from a company such as Lead Concepts to keep track of your target audience’s reactions and suggest changes.
It is important to take certain factors into account when choosing who to send your direct mail advertisements to. Qualities like age, income level, marital status, and gender can play a role in the response rate. For example, if a luxury makeup brand sent an advertisement to an area inhabited by young, low-income, single males, their response rate might be lower than they hope for. The same rules apply for insurance agencies. A company interested in DSNP leads may target a middle- or lower-income area rather than a wealthy one.
Many times, businesses go through an annually busy quarter, during which customers are most interested in their product. The goal of any business venture is for profits to exceed costs. Therefore, it is important to maximize your direct mail expenditure by targeting potentially interested customers during your busiest season. For example, a company that sells pool floats most likely would not focus on advertising during the wintertime. Similarly, a company that sells Medicare insurance may begin direct mail marketing during the open enrollment period.
It is also important to consider the time it will take for your direct mail pieces to reach your customers. Lead Concepts estimates that the time between sending direct mail ads and receiving leads is 21 days. Therefore, if your goal is to receive leads by June 1, you should begin ordering direct mail pieces by late April.
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