As brands increasingly shift their priorities to digital marketing, new opportunities are arising from old marketing marketing methods. One marketing method that’s seeing a revival is direct mail – an opportunity for a memorable marketing touchpoint, and one that is likely to convert. A recent study by the Data & Marketing Association showed that print is impactful, interesting and a powerful marketing tool. While the rate of direct mail sends has decreased with the rise of digital media, the response rate for such pieces has increased by an impressive 43% year-over-year.
Direct mail can support a digital strategy, as Yeva Roberts of PrintForLess elaborates on in this episode of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloudcast. Businesses are folding direct mail into their strategy in order to:
- Re-engage stagnant sales prospects
- Combat marketing fatigue
- Drive site-to-store business
- Effortlessly stay in touch with triggered touches, and
- Converting sales for products & services with a long sales cycle
Re-Engaging Stagnant Sales Prospects
Brands are increasingly seeing that timely and relevant direct mail sends offer a way to stand-out from digital noise. When emails go unopened and contacts fall away, direct mail may serve as an opportunity to captivate and reengage your prospects.
Brands often see visitors engaging with their website content without ever responding to email or phone contacts. Consumers, though curious about the opportunities & products available, have grown understandably resistant to a constant barrage of targeted ads and follow-ups. However, if your website provides valuable information or transactional value that keeps consumers coming back, direct mail remarketing may serve as the catalyst that pushes your contacts into the next phase of their sales journey.
With our Site Abandonment solution, you have the unique opportunity to personalize the direct mail piece sent to your contact, based on their website activity. If they show interest in a particular service or product and don’t take the next step, ReachDynamics will send your targeted message direct to their mailbox.
Combating Marketing Fatigue
According to recent reports, the average American consumer is exposed to thousands of advertisements per day. In fact, it’s not unusual for the average consumer to see more than three hundred advertisements, of various sorts, within the first waking hour each day.
And while digital marketing experts can’t seem to agree on the exact number of ad exposures per day, it doesn’t really matter. This is because, in order to maintain our sanity, consumers have developed an autonomous mental screening process to ignore advertisements. As a general rule of thumb, about two percent of advertisements garner our valued attention each day. In other words, only about 100 out of every 5,000 ad exposures have any meaningful impact on consumers.
Simply put, there are just too many nurture points and too many campaigns – too many pieces of outreach, too many truly terrible email messages and auto dialers.Customers are learning to ignore the obvious. Click To Tweet
Driving Site-to-Store Business
In 2017, shopping and strip malls became deserted wastelands as more and more retailers downsized or shuttered their physical locations altogether. Those that remain are looking for ways to increase sales and to remain competitive in an increasingly digital economy.
In an industry starved for user analytics, some retailers are implementing special floor tiles with sensors that provide retailers with data on customer walking paths and their physical in-store behavior – and therefore, their interests as well.
Businesses are seeking ways to understand their customers and to provide them with a superior price and experience in their retail locations. Customer analytics will be a foundational requirement for retailers looking to compete with online giants such as Amazon who employ a wealth of customer data in their every move.
Long a mainstay for local retailers, direct mail discounts and coupons are an effective way to generate local interest and in-store activity. For retailers looking to take this to the next level, direct mail remarketing technology allows retailers to send coupons and opportunities to their local website visitors who showed some online interest and left without making a purchase.
By utilizing the data on their website visitors, retailers are able to bridge the gap between online shoppers and their brick and mortar stores. Furthermore, mail pieces can be tailored to speak to the products or services the visitor was perusing on-site.
Consider this application with a large multi-location retailer such as a Charming Charlie or even a retail giant like Target.
Direct Mail for Abandoned Cart Recovery
If someone has abandoned a specific product in their shopping cart, and a merchant has their contact information on file, a personalized piece that reminds them of their pending purchase and offers a discount to complete it, will often result in a purchase or lead conversion.
Effortlessly staying in touch with triggered direct mail touches
In the past, direct mail was a cumbersome process. You’d engage a graphic designer, work with a mailhouse, gather addresses and schedule a mail drop.
With today’s technology, you’re now able to set up triggered drip direct mail campaigns and create campaigns that “listen” for triggers from your CRM or Marketing Automation workflows to send out direct mail postcards and letters on a piece by basis.
Once these programmatic direct mail triggers are set up, they run without any need for manual intervention. Just like your email-based automation, they run as triggered – except a physical printed piece is delivered to your audience instead of an email – or at times, in addition to and email.
Triggers can be set for any number of occurrences including:
- Birthday reminders
- Thank you’s for purchases
- New customer officers
- New products
- Product-Recommendations based on prior purchases and inactivity
Converting Sales with Long Sales Cycles
When you work in an industry with a longer sales cycle you must consider your target’s experience. Whether you’re selling in a B2C scenario – such as offering your home building services to a consumer looking to build a home – or you’re working in a B2B scenario offering technology to revamp an entire business’s IT infrastructure – some offerings require more time. At the end of the day, the decision-maker in these transactions need to weigh the pros and cons of your offering, consider budgetary needs & restrictions, and review competitive offerings before making their decision. The larger the expenditure, the longer the sales cycle – in some instances, as long as 18 to 36 months.
While it may feel the best way to get in front of a prospective buyer is to oversaturate them with information, this can hurt brand perception. There can be a balance where you avoid overwhelming the buyer while still offering the right information through the perfect touchpoints and channels.
The primary goal throughout a long sales cycle is to remain at the top of your customer’s mind. This engagement needs to go beyond a monthly payment reminder or email that will be archived in the spam folder. Your company should be the first one a prospective buyer thinks of when they have a question, concern, or need.
Achieving this requires filling gaps in their knowledge or offering support in a strategic manner. The customer needs to see that you have value to offer, and are not trying to inundate them with advertisements and pressure. Instead, you are there for guidance and reference.
By adding in tools like direct mail and email remarketing into your strategy, you have the opportunity to provide materials that build your authority as a trusted resource to that buyer over the time they’re considering their options. When they visit your website at various times for new information, you can send responsive mail or email pieces with helpful, valuable insights that will keep you top-of-mind with the consumer throughout their consideration process.
Direct mail advertisements give consumers a moment to think. It’s in our hand, and under consideration. With each trip to the mailbox, we are forced to consider each and every piece of mail – to toss it, open it, or set it aside for further consideration. Sometimes we lay it on the kitchen table or a bedside table until we can get to it, meanwhile, it’s gathering views and impressions every time we walk by.
Well-crafted, well-timed direct mail comes quietly and awaits our attention, which we often eagerly provide. That’s the power of direct mail in a digital world.
For more direct mail case studies, check out the links below:
- Direct mail case study: HP Singapore gets involved in parent-child bedtime story time
- 7 Direct Mail Offers that Got My Money” (Photos Included)