A whopping 72 percent of people prefer communication via email, according to Litmus. And a Forrester survey reveals that 89 percent of marketers said that email was their primary channel for lead generation. Despite email's popularity among consumers and marketers alike, it's still a great idea to diversify your communications and engage your customers and prospects across multiple channels.
Direct mail may be one format to consider adding to your marketing mix. While it's often thought of as an outdated tactic, as the inbox grows more crowded, the mailbox is often less so, opening up new opportunities for direct mail. If you're considering a direct mail campaign, here are five tips for getting the most out of it:
1. Personalize the experience. Customization is an essential part of communications today, no matter the format. Achieve this with your direct mail by segmenting your lists, much as you would do with email marketing campaigns. You can choose to target one particular segment with your direct mail piece or, if budget allows, create multiple pieces that speak to individual audiences. If your company creates educational software for kids, for example, you might develop variations on a piece that target your three main audiences of parents, grandparents and educators. You can also add a recipients' name, geographic location or other details to your mailing for an added touch of personalization.
2. Mind the timing. Timing can have a big impact on response rates, so make sure that you consider not only what would be most impactful for your audience, but also what would be most effective based on what you're promoting in the mailer. For example, a direct mail piece promoting a big sale should arrive several days or a week before the sale starts, and not so far ahead of the start date that recipients forget about it by the time the sale rolls around. Also, think about timing in terms of the buying cycle too. Make sure that each piece is appropriate for the recipient's stage in the buying cycle.
3. More is more. People often spend more time with a direct mail piece than with an email. Take advantage of the tendency to linger over direct mail by providing more information in your piece. Include all of the details someone would need to make a decision or purchase, anticipate what questions they might have, and provide compelling images and visuals. In addition, provide multiple ways for someone to act on your call to action – whether that's visiting your website, calling your organization, going to a physical business location or following your business on social media.
4. Integrate the campaign. While direct mail can perform very well on its own, integrated campaigns can be far more effective. Let your direct mail piece be the heart of your campaign, and then reinforce that message via email, advertising, social media and other channels. Every channel isn't for every person, so this approach can help drive conversions by reaching people on their preferred channels and reinforcing messaging from one channel to the next.
5. Measure success. As with all marketing endeavors, measuring results should be an essential part of any direct mail campaign. So what should you measure? Key metrics for calculating your return on investment for your direct mail campaign include cost per mailing, total campaign budget, response and conversion rates, number of buyers, average revenue per buyer and total revenue generated.