Planning a direct mail campaign and baffled by the terminology? Inspired, but looking for additional insight? Or maybe you think you’re onto a winner, but wouldn’t mind a little extra guidance? Well, look no further. We’ve got some expert direct mail tips from the DMA, Royal Mail, and First Move, which should set you on the path to direct marketing success.
Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
You might think that the poor reputation of ‘junk mail’ is one of the main barriers to businesses investing in direct marketing. However, in the Mail Matters 2015 report, the DMA found that cost (cited by 43% of respondents) was the main perceived barrier, not reputation (cited by a mere 16%).
This explains why 15% of digital marketeers have already adopted direct mail marketing in conjunction with their digital campaigns, as they seek new ways to cut through the digital “white noise.” But there is still more potential to be realised: Only 46% of those using direct mail have genuinely combined advertising mail and digital marketing by offering exclusive content—like personalised URLs, scannable elements and QR codes—to mail respondents.
When you consider that 98% of respondents would welcome better content personalisation, which has been one of the strengths of direct marketing for over a decade, you can begin to imagine the untapped potential of this medium.
Many businesses don’t realise that Royal Mail also offers a range of services and tools to assist with direct marketing campaigns, from format choices to delivery options and machine readability to research tools. Some things to remember:
A direct marketing expert can also help you decide, for example, whether it’s most economical to pre-sort the mail or to have this step done by the Royal Mail on the way to delivery.
Barcodes and mailmark barcodes (which have extra space customers to place their own information) may also be suitable for your mailing.
Moreover, prices reduce as volume goes up, meaning that you might be looking at less than 20p per letter for a medium-large campaign.
Facts and figures aside, the crucial advantage of direct mail marketing lies in its physicality—its power to stir emotions and create a tactile connection with the brand and the offer.
A recent study by researchers at Bangor University showed that physical messages trigger a much deeper emotional response than virtual messages. Participants’ neurological activity was monitored while they received both physical and virtual messages. Resoundingly, the physical messages caused more activity in those centres of the brain that correspond with emotional response. In real-world terms, this translates into not only a higher chance the message will become ingrained in a prospect’s memory, but also a deeper brand connection. And that means, above all, a higher response rate.
In fact, research shows that whereas an average email marketing campaign will yield a response rate of just over 1 in 1000, businesses can expect a response rate of around 1 in 25 for an expertly planned and executed direct mail marketing campaign.
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