Should You Use Direct Mail?
There has been a lot of talk around about merging online marketing and direct mail- and actually there are a number of benefits of this that do hold a great deal of merit on the whole. Naturally this applies more to small to medium businesses rather than large corperations, but, there are a few ways that this can be a powerful one two punch of a marketing technique- and sadly a way that can just be a big cost, little return investment if not executed properly.
Recently, the US Postal Service commissioned a comScore survey to find out just how effective the use of catalogs- that is, the sort you receive in your mailbox from time to time, are when it comes to online ordering and the results were really surprising. When you consider the fact that it is more convenient for customers to use online ordering, it may seem like the days of paper catalogs are almost behind us- but that is where you would be very mistaken. The USPS survey concluded that people who received a paper catalog were more likely to order online because of that- and a similar survey by Vovici EFM revealed that 96% of respondents said printed catalogs generated online sales. Most saw 20% – 50% increases in online sales immediately after sending their catalogs.
What if you are a business that does not sell anything? Does this mean that you won’t benefit from the printed word, after all? Not necessarily. Another study by the Custom Publishing council shows that 36% look through electronic custom publications while 59% read print publications. That’s a pretty significant gap. Additionally cited reasoning behind this was that 78% of the customers really didn’t mind the information when displayed in an interesting way, 68% felt that printed advertisements and publications sent via the mail enabled them to make better choices, and 74% felt that they would rather receive information in the form of articles as opposed to ads. (Nudge to content, again, there.)
To create a really full marketing campaign, you can effectively merge both online and offline mediums to bring together two powerful ways of reaching out. If you set it up so that the information comes from your site in the first place, then you can sort of create a circle where the user sees the site, then gets the mailer, and returns to the site because of that mailer, newsletter, catalog or publication.
So basically when you consider your online marketing campaign, consider integrating the use of a web form that takes down name, email and address. Craft some really great print to go along with your marketing online, and be sure that you have your web address on the printed direct mail marketing- but also consider offering something that they can only get, if they visit your website for an added incentive. Another survey by the Direct Marketing association showed that a third of the people who ended up at a website, did so by way of a print publication.