What’s the first thing you do when you get home from work? Most of us check our post.
The pull is in personalisation. It’s got our name and address on it, so it’s probably important and worth reading.
Do you look forward to getting your emails as much? We’re guessing NO and the statistics support this.
‘Direct mail has a response rate of 30 times that of e-mail and coupled with the availability of large quantities of reliable data and increasingly cost effective personalised digital print, provides a great opportunity to build your business.’
Now that you’re thinking about using direct mail, your first thoughts might be:
“What is the cost of Direct Mail?”
This article will show the costs and the potential return on investment on all direct mail services. So you can make better-informed business decisions and start building meaningful relationships with your existing and new customers.
“57% of respondents said that postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship.” – Royal Mail
The beauty of postcards is that you can pack a punch for a reasonable price. Imaginative designs can boost your business’ attraction level. For example, you could embed magnets in your postcards so customers can place them in their homes or at work: a daily visual reminder of your brand.
As a low-cost form of direct mail, postcards can yield a high return on investment. That’s because they shine when used for short and compelling messages or offers. It’s a highly effective strategy to grab the recipient’s attention and drive them into action.
You could also send postcards in between catalogue mailings to keep customers keen and drive further sales for a better ROI.
Estimated cost for 5,000 postcards: £1700.00 + vat includes production and postage but excludes data and design (34p each)
You might like to read our other article – Direct Mail Examples – 4 Great Postcards
Do not underestimate the power of a well written letter.
Traditional it may be, but the use of words in a simple, well understood, traditionally trusted and accepted format can open doors and help you win new opportunities. Use mailing services to send large volumes of letters in a cost-effective and highly-efficient way.
Estimated cost for 5,000 letters: £1900.00 + vat excluding design and data
Nowadays we use the internet to shop for things we want. Which begs us to ask, do people still like receiving catalogues?
Absolutely. They encourage purchases – 63% of people are influenced by a catalogue to purchase. They also drive people to visit your website.
In fact, the number of people who now respond to catalogue mailing has surged by 23% over the past few years. Why?
A mailing house can professionally design your catalogues with a specific audience in mind. Recipients gain a physical, visually engaging and relevant lexicon of your best products, peaking their interest and leaving a “deeper footprint” than digital media.
Estimated cost for 5,000 16 page A5 catalogues: £2,500 + vat excluding design (50p each)
Estimated cost for 5,000 32 page A5 catalogues: £3,300 + vat excluding design
Find out more about our Catalogue Mailing Services.
We’re talking about transactional business mail (invoices, statements, information, newsletters etc.) It’s mailing with the purpose to inform rather than to encourage a financially monitored response.
Business mail builds trust between consumers and business. It’s an intimate and secure way to communicate, as a study led by DMA revealed:
“56% of consumers stated that they found printed marketing to be the most trustworthy of all media channels”
Direct Mail Marketing Lists
Before you source data you need to understand who your existing customers are. This way, you can send your mail to people who are interested in your offerings and more likely to buy from you.
What do they look like? Where do they live? How much do they earn? You need to unearth this and much more to develop a clear picture of your audience.
Once you know what your customers look like, the challenge is to find more just like them. Achieve this by comparing your existing customers against a large database of potential users.
Of course, creating your own lists can take a lot of time. List creation is a professional direct mail service that can be executed quickly and accurately thanks to recent technology.
The data sources available range from large compiled databases through to magazine subscribers and customers of other companies. You receive comprehensive lists to reach new customers and boost your sales.
Cost minimum charges usually apply. Minimum spend: £500.00 + vat. Costs per name range from 25p to under 10p depending on the list volume.
Will Direct Mail Work For You?
At First Move, we always recommend you should be studious and monitor results as you start your testing. With the right process you can learn what works best and how to improve your strategy.
Our book, Direct Mail 101, explains why direct mail in the 21st century is worth the investment and how to deliver predictable and profitable results to grow your business. Plus, gain real examples of the world’s most successful direct mail letters for you to study.
Contact First Move on 01494 539300 and request a copy. We’ll send it to you for FREE with no obligations.
For more information about our innovative mailing services, check out our website or complete the contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Did you know you can send direct mail to your customers and you don’t need their explicit consent?
So unlike email marketing, with physical mail you have greater freedom to connect, engage and sell.
Of course, GDPR does effect this offline touchpoint. While recipient opt-ins aren’t compulsory, gaining legitimate interest is.
We discuss exactly what that means for businesses sending direct mail.
Learn how to remain GDPR compliant so you can advertise through post with confidence.
The Art of Mail Marketing Is Far From Dead
Sending marketing material by post is on the rise. The DMA has reported a 43% increase in customer responses to direct mail.
What’s more, on average, people keep their post for 38 days. To put this in perspective, 51% of emails are deleted within two seconds.
There’s no denying it. Direct mail is a powerful, meaningful and a dependable way to turn customers heads and leave a lasting impression. But is every letter that lands on a person’s doorstep wanted? This is where GDPR comes into play.
GDPR: The Specifics
Replacing the Data Protection Act 1998, GDPR is beneficial for both the business and the customer. It came into effect in May with one definitive aim: to balance the interest of the data controllers and the data subjects.
Data controller = the business processing personal data (email addresses, location, names etc)
Data subject = the individual whose data is being processed
To ensure businesses can lawfully handle personal data and use it for marketing purposes they have to abide by GDPR rules.
For example, to collect a subject’s email address and send them monthly e-newsletters the recipient must have opted-in. If they didn’t select ‘receive monthly updates’ but get them anyway, the sender is breaking the law and could face fines of up to 4% of their annual turnover.
Opt-ins usually appear as forms: when a customer registers on a site they will choose:
- How they want you to store and process their details (send to third-parties for marketing purposes etc)
- What type of information they want to receive from the business (updates regarding their purchases etc)
The big question for marketeers and business owners: do you need explicit consent (opt-ins) from the recipient to send them paper marketing?
The answer short answer: no. Here’s the long answer…
Sending Direct Mail on the Grounds of Legitimate Interest
In case you don’t already know, legitimate interest is a term coined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that offers greater flexibility for customer data processing.
Businesses that send direct mail can do so on the basis of legitimate interest. They do not need to record consent from the recipient.
What you do need to ensure is this:
- That the use of data is valid
- Direct mail has a minimal impact on privacy
- Is expected by the recipient or they won’t be surprised to receive it
Let’s say a customer purchases a product from you online. Does that signal legitimate interest in your business?
Absolutely. They’ve actively engaged with your products and wouldn’t be shocked to see your catalogue on their doorstep. Additionally, if a customer has previously opted-in to your marketing emails, you can send them direct mail on the basis that they’ve proven their interest.
Find out more about programmatic mail
Your Responsibilities to Remain Compliant
Legitimate interest has some great benefits for businesses who use Mailing Services to reach their audience. With consent, subscribers can opt-out at any time. With legitimate interest, you aren’t subject to the whim of the customer with greater control and security over who gets your mail.
Taking away the need for obtaining consent means customers aren’t responsible for the use of their data: you are. So it’s your job to show how your interests are balanced with that of the individual.
You gain greater flexibility: this policy is applicable to a plethora of situations. But this ambiguity can lead to risks. With so many possible scenarios balancing interests can become tricky leaving you vulnerable to disagreements.
Protecting your business from GDPR disputes starts with owning your responsibilities. Your goals are to:
- Justify the grounds of legitimate interest between you and your customers
- Explain the purpose of processing and using personal data
- Demonstrate the necessity for data processing
- Your contact and company details
- The way you store candidate information
- How long you intend on storing the data
- What rights a candidate has over their data
- How a candidate can request to delete their data
ICO legislation states that this information must be easily accessible.
Some businesses prefer to rely on consent rather than legitimate interest. Simply because it’s more clear-cut: you either have a person’s permission to send them mail or you don’t.
Of course, this can restrict your direct mail marketing efforts. To maximise your reach, legitimate interest is the best course of action.
Comply to GDPR with our Direct Mail Marketing Services
Outsourcing your direct mail solves some big problems – namely ensuring you stay GDPR complaint.
First Move’s Mailing Services operates under strict legislation policies. From data capture, storing information and distributing direct mail campaigns, GDPR compliance is ensured every step of the way.
Abide by the law with our direct mail services and advertise your business with confidence. In today’s GDPR compliant world, there’s never been a better time to invest in Direct Mail to increase your sales.
If you’d like to learn more, call us on 01494 539300 or send us a message.
Direct mail is a much more sophisticated beast than you imagine.
Direct mail climbs new heights with the advancement of digital technology and now, you can take advantage of its potential. It doesn’t require a re-engineering of the way you run your business and marketing, just some tweaks that’ll bolster sales and increase response rates with very little effort.
Citipost Mail put together a study to show how digital integration can change the way you look at direct mail by taking a wider view and more informed approach. Here are those findings:
We already know that direct mail has high response rates: 3.7% from direct mail with a house list and 1% from direct mail and supplied prospect lists. All other forms total less than 1%; mobile, email, social media, paid search and display advertising fade into the distance. And it’s surprising to learn that email and social media are two of the three most popular marketing channels yet, have the lowest rate of response. Direct mail is not as popular but four times as successful as all of them combined.
Social and digital work better with direct mail
These days marketing is never considered in isolation and 44% marketeers use three or more marketing channels for their brands’ campaigns. You too can learn from this initiative and can combine direct mail with digital for even better results. The proof is in its success:
When social network users were sent direct mail, they responded as follows:
• 25% used a coupon
• 19% held onto it for future use
• 15% visited a store
• 10% passed it on
• 9% friend a new product or service
These are impressive results and a great example of how you can merge the offline with the online. Can think of any other ways to replicate that kind of response? Although social media claims to be a great connector, it’s largely impersonal. Direct mail bridges that gap. In fact, 45% of social network users have acted on direct mail they received and 29% who have used a social network in the past 12 months are 29% more likely to be heavy responders to direct mail.
Direct mail increases your total campaign’s effectiveness
When you add direct mail to an email campaign you increase the potential response rate by 26%. That’s huge. And with the capabilities of social media to spread your message to those who weren’t on your prospect list, you can expect that 9% of direct mail responses will be generated via email or social networks.
Direct mail can be used as one component of a multi-faceted campaign. Use various triggers to contact the customer through text, email, app push notifications and inbox messages and work with your postal operator to trigger the action based on the direct mail delivery. They’ll be grateful for the increased volume and have the facilities to realise your direct mail potential as you envisage it.
Track every response and understand it
Tracking direct mail with digital has never been easier and there are numerous ways to make it happen. Use QR codes and pURLs to track online activity and voucher codes to track conversions at various points of sale. To really merge the direct mail and online experience include a NFC chip that with a quick scan, swipe or tap can turn a smartphone into an extension of the mailer—direct mail brought to life. And reporting is even easier with various tools that can monitor social media for brand mentions and to receive more qualitative feedback through comments and commentary.
Direct mail with digital is the future and you can shape what it looks like with your clients and imaginations, just see how Gtech are going from strength to strength here.
Read our case study on how we helped Gtech combine direct mail with digital, resulting in a silver DMA Award and generated £14.4 million in revenue.
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Whether you run campaigns where you measure your ROI in direct mail on its own, or complemented by an email campaign, you’re bound to be drawn by its benefits.
Direct mail ROI is one of its major draw cards, from the ability to dissect direct mail response rates to having information with which you can predict future results. The beauty of direct mail is the extensive amount of analysis you can perform to understand its impact.
There are plenty of mailing tips to improve ROI, such as employing postal discounts for bulk mailing and maximizing your weight for the postage paid, but what about the measurement?
First perform an audit of everything that comprises the costs of servicing the mailer; allow for production and distribution costs, suppliers and staffing, research and development and anything that has gone into your mailer’s creation. It’s good business sense to keep a handle on these kinds of expenses and gives your ROI gravitas when presenting your sales figures.
Your key metrics are as follows:
- Count – number of direct mail pieces sent
- Response rate – the number of leads you received (as a percentage) from the total count
- Average order value – how each recipient converted
- Cost per acquisition – how much it cost you terms of production and distribution costs to get the lead
- Return on investment – how much you’re ahead of the game after your efforts
While these are some of the most important factors, it’s important to understand the source(s) of your sales—segment your results. Is your campaign standalone direct mail or did you combine with other forms of media? Understand what kind of upswing your campaign received from this approach by looking at each source individually and combined. For example, a direct-mail campaign complemented by an email follow-up could have an upswing of 25%, and you need to understand why.
It’s important to view direct mail’s ROI in terms of both quantitative and qualitative data. While quantitative analysis offers the best business case, don’t ignore the finer points of customer retention. Every campaign you run is an exercise in brand loyalty and awareness. Even if your customer didn’t convert they might in the future. It’s unavoidable, but if you and anticipate this and give them the option to opt into further communication your mailing effort isn’t futile.
Give your prospect an option to be contacted in 3, 6 or 12 months when they might need your product or service. For instance, if they’re locked into a contract with the provider or just shy of buying their first home.
As we know, direct mail has a higher response rate than most other forms of marketing, and the return on investment often follows suit. Talk to a Direct Mail company to find out how you can create effective mail campaigns with skyrocketing ROI.
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Email campaign results and testing will aid predictability in direct mail, helping you generate up to 10% response rates.
- Propositions can be tested
- Creative can be tested
- Personalisation can be tested
- Almost anything can be tested
- While a strong medium on its own, direct mail can be even more effective in tandem with email integration. Through a strategic partnership with Red Hot Penny, a leading eCommerce and retail solutions agency in three major cities, First Move can combine its direct mail expertise with Red Hot Penny’s digital marketing prowess.
- Using audience profiling pooled from your database and Red Hot Penny’s data insights, you can tweak your audience to suit your offer. Build ideal profiles and data sets based on this information and define objectives for each. Use demographics, sales history and purchased statistical information to bolster this.
- Use trends to inform your propositions. Red Hot Penny works with some of the world’s leading retailers and organisations and understands trends. Use this insight to build your proposition and tweak each to suit your audience profiles. Change copy, artwork and offer as required.
- Test your proposed offer by using email as a low-cost alternative to direct mail before you launch your campaign. Using Red Hot Penny’s technology and industry know-how, reports can gauge the recipient’s reaction to various parts of an offer, and identify to which components their attention is drawn first. Make these the hero of your campaign and build the rest around it.
- Multiple messages can go to the same audience over a sustained period to understand which resonates best. Alternatively, a segmented database can receive different messages simultaneously in the vein of A/B testing and split testing. Using email, Red Hot Penny can assess the viability of different customer profiles to respond to offers, and understand which products they will purchase and at what quantities. Feed this data back into your own database to further understand your clientele and continue accumulating information you can use in future mailers.
- Analyse your email campaign before you deploy your print campaign. With the assumption that a high response for an email campaign is 0.12% and direct mail 3-4%, a 0.24% response on your email testing will indicate a 6-8% direct mail response. Extrapolate these figures and you will know how your print mailer will perform. Take the figures and predict your sales volume accordingly; set targets, order stock and staff it correctly.
Use email testing to predict your direct mail response, but go beyond the response rate to predict sales volume. As a business you will find it a much more useful method, and you can make informed decisions about inventory and fulfilling orders. With rigorous testing First Move in partnership with Red Hot Penny can come to a predictive theory with detailed reports to match.
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Your questions answered – why AR is better than QR
For a while QR codes (Quick Response Codes) were ubiquitous, but now they seem to have slipped into obscurity. Is it because they weren’t that good in the first place? After first downloading an app to read the QR code (often cluttered with advertising), the interaction ends once the user reaches the landing page. Don’t get us wrong, they serve a purpose: for functions not requiring human interaction they work perfectly—mail sorting, for example. But if you’re seeking intuitive user engagement with a direct-mail campaign, maybe it’s not the best medium to choose. But what is?
One of the perennial aims of direct mail is to increase response rate and conversions, and it’s to take the offer and convert it into real-life action. As the lines between print and digital merge we are faced with a wealth of integration opportunities. One such example is augmented reality (AR) and its dominating mobile technology as well as the media. A perfect example is the rise of Pokémon Go, the game that uses location information to “capture” creatures on mobile devices. The game’s rise has been meteoric and it’s widely popular with adults and children. While there have been AR games like it before, none has done it with such wide appeal.
As a marketeer there is enormous opportunity to capitalise on the popularisation and growth of such a new technology; meaning you will have to spend little time on educating your target audience who will be quick to adopt it from pure familiarity and curiosity. But you don’t need to have little monsters to make your mailer effective—you just need to give your customers a real-life experience through a digital medium.
If your product is something better experienced in the flesh, give your audience the next best thing. Now by harnessing technology, you can show them what your product looks like through their device’s camera lens, allowing them to envisage it in situ. For example, if you’re a car retailer you could help your prospect become a customer just by showing them what the car would look like in their driveway, and then perhaps it would seem like less of a stretch.
Of course, with this technology comes development, so you might look at a standalone app customers can download or a microsite triggered by NTC in their phone. There are endless ways you can build their support and showcase your product or service. You just have to know how to work it.
- 600 percent increase in app downloads when AR was released
- 30 percent of mobile subscribers will use AR once a week
- 864 million smartphones have AR technology enabled
- 2.5 billion AR apps to be downloaded by 2017
- $300 million total revenue generated by AR in 2013 / $600 million expected revenue by 2016
Find out more about our mailing services today and how we can help you increase your ROI with Augmented Reality. Contact us on 01494 539300, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our online contact form.
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