Direct mail – a thriving marketing channel
We live in a world where services and information are increasingly available online; nevertheless, in this age of information overload in mailboxes, traditional print advertising, which has a physical form and can be perceived with all the senses, is undergoing a renaissance.
Direct mail is an effective way to reach a potential customer and it has long-term effects. It also allows for more detailed descriptions of the strengths of a product or service as there are no time limits that a TV commercial, for example, would have.
The target group of direct mail can be segmented according to the recipient’s characteristics, region, and delivery time of direct mail. It can also be sent as blind mail to anyone or to a specific target group. There are different forms of direct mail and it is definitely worthwhile to differentiate between those in order to keep up with the intense competition.
While a lot of people associate direct mail with a bunch of useless paper, which goes straight from their mailbox to recycling, there is a multitude of clever methods that can be used to attract the recipient to browse your booklet or advertisement of special offers. For example, the material may be unconventional in shape or material. Or you could add text with journalistic value to the direct mail, which would get the recipient to read the mail out of interest towards the news material.
Direct mail has an extremely negative reputation in certain groups of society. Like spam e-mail, direct mail is an advertising channel that the consumer has personally consented to receiving. A large volume of ads is used with hope of sales results from only a few percent.
Direct mail advertising is limited to one-way communication and does not allow for a two-way interaction, which is considered to be particularly important in today’s marketing.
Direct mail does not enable sufficient levels of personalization. The more you attempt to personalize direct mail, the more expensive and complicated the administration of the campaign becomes (the costs increase for printing, distribution, post, etc.).
The total cost of direct mail is generally relatively low, but the price per unit is high. The larger the campaign, the lower the unit costs. The price, of course, is subjective and depends on the advertising channel used for comparison.
The reluctance/unwillingness of advertisement recipients to focus on the ads. Nearly all adds that are sent to your mailbox, go straight to the trash.
Direct mail comes with the risk that it may get wrinkled or otherwise damaged, which tends to leave a cheap and negative impression.
Therefore, it can be said that the cost of direct mail administration is high, as there are several different parties involved (creator of the idea, designer, printer, forwarder, etc.).
Direct mail, if creatively approached, can be attention-grabbing as the recipient cannot avoid focusing on the advertisement, even if just for a moment, to see if it includes any useful information.
It is great for regional targeting. The advertiser can choose to which house or apartment the ad will be delivered.
Direct mail can be used well as a promotional channel (in addition to being an advertising channel). Direct mail allows for submitting coupons or testers that are not very large. Of course, an increase in cost must be taken into account in the case of additional items.
Coupons make it easy to measure the actual return on direct mail (ROI).
Direct mail allows you to use different forms of printing and advertising. The advertiser decides what the advertisement format is and whether or not the ad is placed in an envelope.
Direct mail advertising allows for transmitting extremely large volumes of information. As a result, direct mail is often used by companies that sell a wide range of products.
When should you use direct mail?
Direct mail is primarily used by retail companies whose product portfolios consist of hundreds or thousands of products. This allows for cost savings and the targeting of multiple client segments in one ad. However, it should be noted that this applies primarily to FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) with a low price and a short purchase lead time. In addition, direct mail, like a newspaper advertisement, is a very useful tool for generating call-to-action. It will help you get customer attention primarily through discount notifications.
Many people who read direct mail do this primarily because they are searching for useful discounted offers. This is how retail chains will gain a client who will visit the store for one particular discount product and will buy all the other items they need from the very same store, instead of providing profits for a competitor. Direct mail is a great option for sharing information in a certain geographical region if the aim is to advertise a recently opened establishment or invite people to an event. When should I refrain from using direct mail? You should try and avoid using direct mail when your main goal is creating an image for your brand.
The comparatively poor reputation and cheap look of direct mail can damage a brand. The same applies for using direct mail to promote expensive products. Direct mail is a great tool for achieving impulse purchases, but not for convincing consumers of the quality of the product!