One of the things we direct mail marketeers hear time and again is a resistance to such a “traditional” form of advertising. While it’s easy to tire of the same old hesitation, it’s important to note that it’s our job to educate our prospects and respond to any objections they might have. But perhaps it’s our approach that needs improvement?
Usually direct mail is offered as an alternative to other marketing practices, but what if it’s to be included as part of their marketing mix? You might think it’s an unorthodox strategy, but hear me out. While all marketing is competing for the same share of spend, we all have the same objective: to convert sales and leads. What if I were to tell you that electronic mail—our direct rival—can actually benefit direct mail?
One of the familiar arguments is that direct mail costs so much. Sure, but in comparison to low-cost e-mail mailers, anything would seem extortionate. But this is just on the surface. While we might know it, our customers don’t realise just how low the response rate of e-mail actually is in comparison to direct mail. When you explain these details they begin to come around to the idea, and when it’s extrapolated to realistic figures—real-life sample sizes in the thousands versus in the hundreds—they understand instantly how it affects their bottom line. And that’s the major concern of our clients—how will it impact their sales and ROI? This is our opportunity to demonstrate that direct mail can help them “round out” or close the sale as part of an overall marketing campaign.
Say, for example, you have a television or radio advertisement running. It’ll have great reach and many will see or hear it, however, how many consumers will remember your product when the time comes to purchase? But if you send out a mailer during your advertising campaign they’ll have instant brand recognition and your product will be in their hands. Literally. You can apply the same principle to an e-mail campaign. It’s not as crazy as you think. With email, you can track each recipient that has actually opened your e-mail (provided their privacy settings allow it). Even if they don’t do anything about the e-mail, you know that if you target them again using direct mail they’ll recognise your brand immediately.
Of course there are many ways and interpretations of this particular strategy and a direct mail company can build a specific campaign to suit the correct client, product and budget. We no longer need to fight the fight for direct mail. Direct mail is here to stay, we just need to show them how it’s integral.
You might also be interested in the following articles: