In a world teeming with digital noise and distractions, where companies battle every waking second for the attention of potential customers, one medium has risen above the rest. Its name is direct mail and it has powers that go beyond the capabilities of the average marketing channel. The ordinary business owner can harness the power of direct mail for good – but only if they understand its true nature.
The power of direct mail stems from its innate ability to combine the familiar with the physical: two aspects that could never be replicated by digital marketing efforts. Receiving, handling, and reading physical mail is a habitual, hands-on experience. The process marks a moment in people’s day where they drop all other activities and commit their attention to searching their deliveries for something of value to them. The direct mailer is the advertiser’s opportunity to offer such value to them, and when used skillfully, they have been proven to drive customer action.
The Basics of Direct Mail Superpowers
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with the amount of media content and adverts vying for your attention online, you’re not alone. Some estimate that the average person is now exposed to as many as 5,000 ads a day.
Research conducted by Bangor University in Wales recently concluded that physical media tends to create more of an impact than digital. Delivering physical media to the home of a potential customer makes it highly likely that the piece in question will be physically handled and exclusively viewed by them. Mail opening, as mentioned before, is a pleasant experience for many and raises the chances of your audience actually slowing down and taking the time to perceive your message, leading to higher rates of:
· Brand recognition
· Consumer motivation
Other digital advertising methodologies such as email have their own advantages, but tend to be seen as disruptive of the audience’s other activities, rather than seamlessly embedded within them. It is beneficial to invest in a direct mailing campaign alongside a business’s typical marketing mix to maximize the visibility of your message.
So now you have the basic understanding of how direct mail superpowers can annihilate distractions and safely deliver your message to customers. What specifically are these superpowers though? Direct mail has 6 superpowers that give it an advantage over other forms of marketing communications.
1. Direct Mail Gets Noticed
Even across generations, print mail continues to be read and trusted by the majority of consumers. People are far more likely to notice and read the ads that land in their mailboxes, than they are the digital communications that clutter the sides and corners of the websites they visit or even their inboxes.
Direct mail advertisers consistently see results from their campaigns, showing that customers haven’t stopped noticing mailers.
2. Direct Mail Gets Kept
One of the biggest benefits of direct mail is that it offers the opportunity for repeat brand exposure and engagement. Those postcard mailers that double as:
· Codes for online discounts
– are great for drawing consumer attention, and keeping it. If the recipients of the mailer are given a good enough reason to, they will keep it displayed prominently in their homes or offices for weeks – possibly months – all the while elongating exposure to your brand and message.
3. Direct Mail is Comfortable
Sifting through the daily mail is firmly established as part of the average consumer’s home-coming habits. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the power this comfortable ritual wields, and the intimate emotions it generates.
By inviting your business directly into their personal living area, home office, or kitchen, customers subconsciously endow your direct mail materials with emotionally-charged significance. And when happy and comfortable, the audience naturally tends to become more open to your company’s direct mail offers.
4. Direct Mail is Persuasive
Consumers don’t always know what they’ll find in their mailbox, which makes them more likely to glance at each piece before discarding them. This presents a window of opportunity for advertisers to catch the audience’s attention and deliver a message that can serve a variety of functions such as:
· Introduce a product or service
· Build brand rapport and increase recall ability
· Influence prospects to seek out additional information through a phone call, in-store or online visit
· Lay the foundation for future purchases
· Provide a special offer to incentivize immediate purchases
The mailer is really a blank canvas for the advertiser to paint their own instructions onto. How it comes across is heavily reliant on its design.
5. Direct Mail is Loved
Want people to love your brand? Direct mail is a great way to get consumers to associate feelings of happiness with your company – especially since they enjoy receiving physical mail twice as much as they do digital messages.
Communicating with your clients and prospects by mail adds a personal touch to your messaging that simply can’t be matched by email or other online advertising vehicles. The positive emotions that stem from getting something in the mail help impose your brand into a positive space in the heart and mind of the consumer.
6. Direct Mail Drives Digital Traffic
When paired with digital advertising, direct mail contributes enormously to the success of multi-channel marketing endeavors. Direct mail can lead a consumer to engage with the brand via other channels (if the consumer is incentivized to do so). So, it can drive prospects to make phone calls, visit stores, or view the company’s social media platform. It’s up to the advertiser to understand their audience and put them on a path towards taking action. If done correctly, even older demographics can be persuaded to engage with a brand’s online presence.