Tag Archives: direct mail
Digital Overload and the Power of Direct Mail Marketing
How many emails did you receive yesterday? Over 50? Over 100? As email marketing becomes more and more popular as a marketing medium, it is no secret that the number of emails filling up people’s inboxes is growing exponentially. Unfortunately, this is not a good sign for email marketers, because it means that every email has to overcome much more competition in order to get opened, let alone clicked on. We call this “Digital Overload”, and it severely limits the efficacy of email marketing efforts.
This concept of marketing overload is nothing new; it is a natural byproduct of any marketing technique increasing or decreasing in popularity. Direct mail has also seen its heyday in this respect. A couple of decades ago, when direct mail marketing was all the rage, we saw this same phenomenon: mailboxes were stuffed so full of promotional mail that the efficacy of each direct mail piece was significantly diminished.
As you may have guessed, this is why marketers are constantly trying to stay ahead of the game by discovering or inventing new marketing techniques before everyone else: They don’t want the efficacy of their marketing techniques to be diluted by a surge of popularity.
Direct Mail: The ‘Diamond in the Rough’ of Luxury Branding
Marketing for luxury items is a very different game from most traditional marketing strategies. Most items can be sold based on the usefulness or efficacy of the product; luxury items, on the other hand, are not about selling a product so much as what that symbol represents, be it wealth, glamour, or power. Luxury brand marketing is first and foremost about branding, because luxury items have very little to do with necessity and a great deal to do with image and lifestyle. As it turns out, direct mail is especially suited to luxury branding; one might even say direct mail is the ‘diamond in the rough’ of luxury brand marketing. Let’s explore why.
As mentioned above, luxury marketing is not about necessity. As such, your marketing materials should have one primary goal: Capturing people’s imaginations. Allow them to imagine themselves living the lifestyle that your products represent. There is nothing more powerful.
How to Measure Your Direct Mail Marketing ROI
Direct mail marketing campaigns can become expensive if not executed correctly, and especially during times of economic hardship, it is particularly important to back up marketing decisions with solid numbers. The most commonly accepted method of quantifying the success of a direct mail campaign is to calculate its Return on Investment (ROI). It’s not enough to simply know how much a campaign costs up-front; you also need to know how much revenue that campaign brought in, to determine whether or not it was financially worth the investment. Let’s walk through the process of calculating your direct mail ROI.
The first and most important step in calculating your direct mail ROI is to set up some method of tracking responses to your campaign. Unlike email marketing, direct mail marketing does not inherently offer tracking metrics like open rates and click-throughs, so it can be more difficult to find out exactly what kinds of responses your campaign is eliciting.
The Dreaded Deal Hunter: Why Direct Mail Coupons Are More Effective Than Daily Deal Sites
For a while, it seemed like I couldn’t go two days without hearing about some amazing deal one of my friends got on a daily deal site like Groupon or Living Social. Daily deals were all the rage, and businesses were raving about the enormous boost in business they had been seeing. However, as time has passed and many of those businesses have faded away, people have begun questioning the efficacy of these daily deal sites. Amidst all the debate, one thing has become crystal clear: Direct mail coupons are, and always were, much more effective at creating loyal, repeat customers. Why does direct mail have such a distinct advantage over online deals in the coupon world?
While daily deal sites seemed to flourish for a time, it is now well-known that daily deals have driven many a business into the ground because, rather than attracting new customers who then develop into repeat customers, these online coupons merely attract “deal hunters”. These deal hunters are loyal to one thing, and one thing only: Discounts. While businesses that utilized these daily deal sites usually experienced a boom in business after offering a coupon, very few of these new customers ever converted into repeat customers. They were busy hunting for their next deal, and were never prepared to pay full price in the first place. This translated into huge losses for these businesses.
5 Strategies for Planning Your Next Direct Marketing Campaign
Effective and memorable direct marketing campaigns do not simply materialize based on luck; they require lots of hard work, planning, and strategizing. Don’t jump into your next direct marketing campaign with blinders on. Follow these 5 strategies to ensure your next campaign’s success!
1. Plan your campaign based on ROI rather than savings. Too many businesses get caught up in the process of trying to save as much money as possible in the initial phases of their direct marketing, without considering the high ROI that an effective campaign will garner. A dirt-cheap, low-quality mailing list may save you some money now, but your ROI will also be significantly lower than a campaign based around a quality list. Always keep the big picture in mind, and don’t let initial campaign prices distract you from what’s really important – making money.
Direct Mail: The Fundraising Champion
Fundraising is an integral part of many businesses and organizations. However, convincing people to donate some of their disposable income to your cause is not always an easy task, and it has been made even more difficult by the economic downturn. Luckily, direct mail is here to save the day. Direct mail is an extremely effective fundraising tactic, and any organization that depends on fundraising as a major source of revenue should absolutely be utilizing this practice.
Many businesses and organizations, especially smaller ones whose budgets are tight, shy away from direct mail. They are intimidated by direct mail’s higher initial cost per record, but fail to consider the substantial advantage that direct mail has over email when it comes to bringing in donations. Did you know that in 2011, 75% of new donors were acquired by direct mail? Or that a typical nonprofit received 75% of its donated revenue through direct mail? What’s more, a large portion of long-term donors who are initially acquired online often switch from online giving to offline giving, while the reverse is rarely true. All of this means that fundraisers need to take direct mail very seriously, because it is far and away the fundraising champion among direct marketing channels.
5 Tips for Saving Money on Your Direct Mail Marketing
These days, direct mail is often dismissed as an antiquated marketing channel while email marketing or social media are becoming ever more popular choices. Despite the current popularity of “new” media, there is ample evidence to show that direct mail is still the return on investment champion, so what is the real problem here? In most cases, it comes down to cost. Direct mail costs more per message delivered and consequently requires more of an up-front investment than online marketing channels. There are, however, two cold doses of reality to face when it comes to direct mail. First is that planning a marketing campaign on the basis of savings instead of on return is never a good idea. Second is the hard truth that, if your direct mail campaign is breaking the bank, you’re probably doing it wrong. Here are 5 tips to keep those campaign costs down.
1. Target, Target, Target!
Targeting your audience is the #1 means of keeping direct mail costs down. Don’t waste postage and printing costs on people who have absolutely no need for what you offer. Save those expenses for the people who are most likely to buy from you. That said, it is important to note that the more people you send to, the more you will be able to consolidate on production costs. But grow your mailing list strategically; only expand your list within your target market(s). Every direct mail piece sent outside of that group will most likely translate to wasted marketing dollars.
Why EDDM Is Bad for Business
What’s more important to your business – Expense or Profit?
Take a closer look at EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail)… Can you say “junk mail” at its worst?
The post office would have us believe that you should not send marketing messages to the “right target at the right time”… You should send your message to “Everyone – Every door – Every time”. Let’s look at both sides of the question above.
The post office is advertising on TV, (what a waste of taxpayer $), that you can send your mail without a name or address to every door for “as low as $.145 per piece”… (It’s perfect wording – I use it in my cable efforts: You can get digital phone & cable for “as low as $49.95”… but of course there are limitations). And with the EDDM there are many limitations.
Telling Your Story with Direct Mail Marketing
Storytelling has been an integral aspect of society since the earliest civilizations. Passed from generation to generation by word of mouth or written word, stories have always shaped the way we view the world and relate to each other. Why are stories so powerful? They connect with us on an emotional level and tap into our desires and fears; stories remain in our memories long after cold facts.
Any seasoned sales professional will tell you that the best sales people are also the best storytellers. The same goes for marketers. If you can tell stories rather than pushing features alone, you have a better chance of appealing to prospects’ emotions, and all buying decisions are, at their core, emotional. In your marketing, you should be capitalizing on this by telling stories whenever possible. Direct mail is a great venue for telling stories in creative ways, perhaps even more so than other venues of direct marketing.
Why is direct mail particularly good at communicating stories to prospects? For one, direct mail differs from email in that it provides more space. People have much more patience for direct mail than for email, largely because spam is sending everyone into email overload. To attract someone’s attention in an email, you need to be to-the-point, flashy, and exciting; if you don’t grab their attention right away, chances are they won’t even open your email, let alone read your story.
Internet Usage: Implications for Direct Mail Marketing
Smartphones. Tablets. Google Glasses. With all of the recent buzz about new ways the Internet can make our lives easier, it often starts to seem as if everyone is perpetually connected to the Internet. The world of online marketing certainly doesn’t refute this impression; these days, it seems that most marketing news revolves exclusively around Internet marketing strategies, be it social media, mobile marketing, or gamification. However, Internet usage may not be quite as universal as the online marketing bubble leads us to believe, and traditional marketing strategies, such as direct mail, may still have the last word. The Pew Internet Project has just released a new study (1), and its results may be surprising:
1 in 5 American adults do not use the Internet.
As marketers, it is extremely important that we don’t overlook the segment of the population that does not use the Internet, because this segment is bigger than we often assume. What’s more, we often assume that those who do not have access to the Internet are perhaps not in the market to buy products. While Internet access certainly can be a class issue, not using the Internet does not necessarily equal zero purchasing power:
“Among adults who do not use the Internet, almost half said the main reason they don’t go online is because they don’t think the Internet is relevant to them”.
This means that a relatively large segment of our population is fertile marketing territory, but is not online. Enter traditional marketing strategies, such as direct mail marketing. Direct mail can simply reach more people than online marketing, even before we factor in other online hurdles like personalized search engine results, spam filters, website blocking, and more. Online marketing is clearly a very important aspect of any marketing mix, but there is a very real limit to its reach. Direct mail, on the other hand, can reach anyone with an address, and that is a much larger group than those with Internet access. For instance, one of the biggest and often most lucrative sectors of the globe is the elderly, and according to another survey from Pew (2), only “38% of U.S. adults aged 65+ now go online.” This is a low percentage, and it makes other means of marketing, like direct mail marketing, even more important.
If you limit yourself exclusively to online marketing strategies, you are automatically limiting the reach of your message. Traditional marketing strategies such as direct mail marketing are still around because they still have something to offer us as marketers; in this case, it’s a broader audience. The next time your business embarks on a new marketing campaign, don’t forget about all those non-Internet users out there, because they can be a valuable resource to tap into.
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