The Rise of an Old-School Marketing Tactic No Business Should Ignore

marketing trends 2019At d3, we use our deep knowledge and expertise in multi-channel marketing trends to help our clients attract new leads and increase conversions to grow their revenue.

While we often utilize digital strategies such as paid search, email marketing, and paid social advertising, we also have over 30 years of experience using highly effective traditional marketing methods.

That’s why today, we’re writing about a resurgence of what some might consider to be an “old-school” marketing technique: direct mail.

Though often an afterthought for modern day marketing agencies, we understand that direct mail is not simply a recurring trend–but a continuing touchpoint staple that has helped businesses engage and convert customers for decades.

The truth is that direct mail has never died, nor do we see it fading out any time in the near future. And if you want to keep your brand in front of consumers, it’s more important now than ever to incorporate this ever-evolving tactic back into your marketing strategy.

Let’s dive in to explore more of why businesses are once again relying on direct mail, shall we?

The Return of the Appeal of Direct Mail

According to Campaign Monitor, there are about 124.5 billion business and 111.1 billion consumer emails sent and received each day.

These numbers are difficult to fathom, but if you take a moment to reflect on how many emails you receive in your inbox each day, you know there’s a lot of noise to weed through.

Considering this dilemma, it’s easy to feel nostalgic for the days when your primary method of staying up-to-date with brand news and offers was via your actual physical mailbox.

From catalogs to promotional postcards, direct mail was a portal to connect with the products and services many of us cared about pre-internet.

Today, 51% of emails are deleted within two seconds. This isn’t to say email marketing is a bad thing. It’s actually an amazing tool–a tool that would work alongside direct marketing strategies in order to achieve optimal success.

Rather than simply vying for space and attention in your prospects’ inboxes, physical mail is an effective method to work in tandem with your online marketing efforts.

How do you combine both new- and old-school tactics? Easy.

Triggered direct mail is one excellent tool that does just that.

For example, you may have a customer that clicked on an ad via an email. That customer then made her way to your online store and placed items in her online shopping cart.

If the customer makes her purchase, that’s great. But, if she doesn’t and leaves her items in the cart, a triggered campaign can be used to remind her what she liked, and deliver a custom offer to help close the transaction. The offer, made via a personalized direct mail postcard, includes the specific items she abandoned and can be delivered in just 48 hours. The results can work like magic!

This is just one example of how direct mail, used in the right ways, can make an amazing difference in your marketing campaigns–something we’ve been helping clients do for decades.

We’re glad to see that many businesses are once more recognizing the appeal of how powerful direct mail campaigns can be.  

For example…

While generally regarded as the brand that taught us how to shop online, Amazon is exploring ways in which a catalog can drive incremental sales.

According to Digital Trends, the e-commerce company is “taking a page out of the tried-and-true traditional holiday books of retail toy stores. Instead of relying on all-digital advertising, Amazon is shipping a 68-page printed guide to millions of American households in advance of the holiday season.

You may be wondering about the additional reasons why has direct mail made a comeback in the digital age.

There are several factors and explanations we can point to…

Digital printing has lowered the cost of personalization. The success of fully digital printing has opened the door for highly customized pieces at a great price. Rather than sending out the same promotion or catalog across your files, images and offers can be sourced from site activity logs, abandoned carts, and more.

Highly relevant print offerings make a powerful impression and aid in conversion. According to Small Biz Trends, 70% of people think that direct mail is actually more personalized than email.

Direct mail is more tangible. People like to engage with physical items and have a tactile experience–no matter what age. The process of opening an envelope or flipping through a hard copy of a catalog is a lot more exciting than simply skimming a subject line and clicking to open an email. Additionally, you can enhance your mailings with various printing techniques and methods–setting you apart.

Direct mail is seen as trustworthy. A strong majority of consumers trust direct mail when they want to make a purchasing decision. While trust peaks at 83% of the oldest generation, a healthy majority of both Millennials and Gen Xers also trust direct mail when making buying decisions. 70% of Millennials and 77% of Gen X. (Marketing Sherpa)

Direct mail is more likely to be read. According to Royal Mail, addressed advertising mail remains in people’s homes for an average of 17 days–elevating the chances that someone will eventually read it and convert. On top of that, the US Postal Service found that three-quarters of US households in 2017 read or scanned advertising mail.

Direct mail is less competitive. While everyone’s been focusing their efforts on digital channels, our physical mailboxes have become less cluttered. This means that whatever does get sent has a higher chance of being read.

Direct mail is measurable. Amazingly enough, in the same way we can track the performance of digital campaigns, we can track and analyze the performance of direct mail. This is done utilizing digital capabilities such as…

  • Promo codes
  • Matchback files
  • Personalized URLs (PURLs)
  • Call Source Tracking

Direct mail can be triggered. Triggered direct mail is one of the most powerful tools available today. A trigger campaign can launch in association with any chosen action, a click, form completion, or cart abandon. Based on a predefined set of criteria, once the trigger is activated, the postal response is sent. The power of a postal offer mirroring very recent web activity is evident in the high success rates of this channel.

According to digital marketing expert Elaine Fogel, 8 in 10 business marketers deemed it effective in delivering revenue and results for their businesses.

The reality is that direct mail never died–it simply evolved alongside digital marketing methods. So take some time to explore how these old-school marketing tactics have can become a powerful resource to work in tandem with your new-school digital marketing initiatives.

If you’re looking for help or ideas on how to improve your multi-channel marketing efforts we’re here to help.

Contact us today to speak with one of our multi-channel marketing specialists.