Direct mail has unfortunately been a bit of a victim of the new age of digital marketing, where budgets are spread a bit thinner between the wide range of new options available, that are also seemingly ‘easier’ to drive and track measurable results.

Is direct mail dead? This is a question we come up against regularly. Our clear and simple answer is that direct mail is not dead, but it is in need of a new lease of life.

So, if direct mail is due a resurrection, we have to understand how it can be used effectively to stand any chance of receiving a share of the budgets.

3 KEY COMPONENTS IN OUR DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGNS:

Smarter – Direct Mail can be and has to be smarter. Not utilising the data you have at your disposal when communicating with your audience is lazy – it wouldn’t be accepted in digital channels so it shouldn’t be in print either. The days of ‘spraying and praying’ your brand messages are over. Sending relevant and personalised messages is where print can really add value to how you’re connecting with your audience.

Measurable – Digital channels have prospered because it’s easier to measure their ROI over more analogue activities like Direct Mail. We do not accept that mindset that Direct Mail cannot be measured, and make sure specific KPI’s are set for all campaigns – whether soft (traffic) or hard (revenue)

Connected – A multi-channel approach where all channels are collectively working together toward a common goal is a must. Unfortunately, lots of strategies still isolate Direct Mail and underestimate how powerful it can be when used as part of a connected strategy.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE – WORKING EXAMPLE: SPORTS RETAILER:

APPROACH #1

Smart – We are able to work with the available data to understand the lifecycle of various products, for example, a running jacket that may last an average of two years. With this knowledge, we can then profile our database and segment out all the customers who have previously purchased a running jacket more than two years ago. This customer can be sent a personalised message promoting our new range of running jackets.

Measurable – Including a unique offer code or landing page URL to the artwork will allow us to understand how people act after receiving the mail.

Connected – Through a joined-up CRM strategy, the brand in question can send email to the same audience segment, and even reach them on Instagram through custom audiences.

APPROACH #2

Silly – Sending a blanket mail campaign to your entire customer database promoting the full range of the new season’s styles.

Not measured – No offer code or landing page = No ROI measure.

Disconnected – Marketing channels are inconsistent meaning the brand’s audience receives different messages and offers across the variety of channels they engage with the brand on.

WHICH WOULD YOU CHOSE?

[OPTION 1!!!!]

Print will never die, but we cannot ignore that it is shrinking. This is not necessarily a negative thing though.

With my customer hat on, I do not want to be receiving irrelevant junk mail through my letterbox. I do want to be receiving tailored and relevant direct mail though.

Do I want a flyer through my door every week selling me blinds or new windows? No.

Do I want a flyer from a blind or window company when I have shown interest online? Yes.

Direct mail is not dead but we should be celebrating the fact that junk mail is, and if the doormat is becoming emptier, there is a huge opportunity for brands to take advantage.