Direct Mail still yields the highest ROI and lowest cost-per-lead and highest conversion rates of any medium. We are so digitally over-saturated that the only way to get important information into our customers’ hands in through direct mail.
Direct mail continues to be a critical component for both B2C and B2B products and services. It’s always more effective than digital-only channels like email or social media ads. And, when you combine the power of direct mail and digital – well, that’s the golden ticket.
Three trends are driving new strategies in direct mail marketing.
- Technology that allows specific coding for mailing lists.
- Inkjet print technology propelling personalized workflow.
- Tracking and implementing multi-channel retargeting strategies.
Marketing to a Universe of One
This is where technology brings personalization to a whole new level.
Remember the old days where an advertiser was locked into a 5,000 name minimum – and everyone got the same direct mailer? Well, nowadays marketers no longer need to mail the same piece to a broad audience to get a decent cost per piece.
Today’s direct mail production has evolved with highly complex, data-driven technology. This enables printers to use variable data and personalization while at the same time optimizing the costs for printing and postage.
Mailing lists have evolved to enable an advertiser to reach very specific targets. You name it, a good mailing list company can create that list for you. For example, Hispanic homeowners with swimming pools in their backyards, with good credit and children under 5 years old in the home. That’s pretty specific.
And, a solid, experienced mailing list company can also code the actual mailing list so each record gets a specific creative and offer. This allows the printer to use their technology to print an entire run at the same time. Each individual on the list gets a piece that’s personalized for them. And the advertiser gets economy of scale, both from a printing, processing and postage perspective.
For example, a roofing company may want to mail to credit-worthy homeowners in their area. They can select a list by modeled credit score as well as the year the home was built. The marketing piece may feature the homeowner’s name, street address and the age of the home. Different homeowners may get different offers based on their credit. Response mechanisms may include personalized verification codes; personal text codes, a QR code for a personalized website. Remember PURLs?
Turning Browsers into Buyers – Retargeting with Direct Mail
Some of the most effective direct mail campaigns are now trigger-based campaigns with a multi-channel twist. This is a great way to improve direct mail ROI.
Most business owners understand retargeting from a Google ad standpoint. The original concept of retargeting was that if someone visited your website and didn’t buy, you serve them digital ads in hopes they would click back onto your site. Today, advertisers can send direct mail to those people who didn’t buy online. Often, these include an offer the prospect can’t refuse. Statistics show that the redemption from direct mail retargeting is much higher than online retargeting.
Moving the customer between channels: Physical – then digital – then physical
This is where multi-channel really rocks.
Recently I got a holiday catalog from MacKenzie-Childs. This particular company has a range of ceramics that have black & white checks on them. My daughter-in-law loves these pieces so I figured maybe I’d find a Holiday gift for her. So, I clicked onto the website to see what else they had to offer. I tooled around for a while, then got distracted and never made a purchase.
A few days later I got a postcard in the mail from MacKenzie-Childs. They thanked me for visiting their website. I thought that was pretty cool. Of course, what would have been way cooler was a personalized discount code. Sometimes it takes a little extra boost to get a prospect to hit the submit button. A discount code would have made me hurry right onto the site and make a purchase. Then I would have been gift done.