It’s refreshing to know that, despite the fact that we live in a digital age, some of the more traditional methods of communication still work well. Research published by the Direct Marketing Association indicated that direct mail continues to be an effective marketing tool. The report, entitled ‘From Letterbox to Inbox’, provides some very compelling statistics:
- 79% of consumers react immediately to direct mail
- 44% are prompted to visit a brand’s website as a result of receiving direct mail
- 56% believe printed material is the most trustworthy of any communication channels
So whilst email marketing is promoted as a low-cost marketing tool, investment in printed communications could actually prove to be more cost effective and to produce greater return on your investment. Knowing that, the biggest decision is probably what method you will employ.
So what format of direct mailer should I use?
Ultimately, it’s all down to understanding your target audience, their needs and how your product or service will answer those needs. If you want to create a strong impression and grab the attention of an audience that is potentially unaware of your company then a mailer has to be the way to go. Key to this is good and creative design that will provide visual impact, an engaging concept and well-crafted copy that effectively presents your offering and includes a strong call to action.
That would suggest that a sales letter is an inferior method, right?
Well not necessarily. Self mailers or complex mailing packs may not suit all companies or may not resonate with the target audience, and the formality of a letter may be more appropriate. And this is why understanding the who, what and why of your marketing initiative is so important. A printed mailer with ‘wow’ factor or clever creative/message may win new customers who are sufficiently intrigued to find out more about what you can do for them, but this approach could ring a little hollow when it comes to existing or lapsed customers. These are people whose names you know, so something more personal – a letter – that looks like it’s intended only for them may have a more genuine feel about it.
Whatever route you decide to take, printed mailings have an integral part to play – just think of all those photocopied leaflets you find shoved through your own door. Whether you need decent letterheads for a sales letter or have an exciting mailer planned it’s essential to get good quality print. And it needn’t be prohibitively expensive either. Digital print, for instance, means that you can create exciting mail campaigns cost effectively, as well as having the opportunity to test out an idea on a smaller audience, measure its success and then decide if you’re going to do it on a bigger scale.