By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
In this year of tighter budgets fanned by the fears of inflation a year ago, many marketers are turning to a traditional, but still-proven-to-work strategy as they head down the 2023 back stretch: Direct mail.
“It might be hard to believe, but in a climate of reduced marketing spending and an overwhelming digital landscape, something as simple as a piece of mail can be an effective tactic in 2023,” Leeatt Rothschild, founder and CEO of Packed with Purpose, wrote in a Forbes Business Council post last week.
Her company is “where business gifts foster meaningful relationships and create deep social impact” and takes direct mail to an even more exciting level: It helps companies send gifts to employees who may be celebrating years of service, their birthdays or other landmarks in their lives, such as a promotion (with hefty raise, we’d hope).
Citing a recent U.S. Postal Service survey, Rothschild says “a physical piece of mail is something many look forward to,” no matter what their age may be when they’re opening up their mailbox.
She noted that the USPS polling found that 72% of Gen Z respondents — or those born from 1997 to 2012 — said they’re “excited to discover what the mail brings every day” and 38% of them had visited an organization’s website after receiving a relevant piece of direct mail.
:Furthermore, about 70% of Gen X survey respondents (those born from 1965 to 1980) said they believe mail is more personal than digital communications,” Rothschild wrote.
What Is There to Like About Direct Mail?
Consult with a marketing strategist, and you’ll find that direct mail offers a number of benefits and can be part of an overall print marketing campaign, which might include newspaper and magazine display ads.
Direct mail’s benefits include:
- Reduced cost: Cost of direct mail can vary, of course, and depends on the item your business is sending. However, when you collaborate with USPS and send your direct mail in bulk, the postage does cost less than individual mail.
- Better response rates than email: A survey from Lob’s 2022 State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights report found that 44% of respondents listed direct mail as their top channel for “unknown brands.”
- Greater visibility: When people visit their mailbox by car or foot every day, finding direct mail can be better than finding nothing at all. Experts say that direct mail from a crafty creative services team — say, a glossy postcard with QR code that leads to your website and a hot deal — can boast better response rates than online efforts.
- High-level targeting: When you include geo-demographic insights and audience segmentation, it helps you produce a direct-mail campaign that allows you to target specific demographics and personalize your messaging.
- Improved customer loyalty: Building relationships with customers via direct mail can improve their loyalty to you.
Get Moving With USPS
“If you have the data to personalize and track direct mail activities, you are halfway there,” Rothschild noted in her Forbes Business Council post last week.
“But leveraging this data to choose optimal timing for your communications will make or break these campaigns. Direct mail and gifts are effective because they are typically used sparingly. Sending too many mailed items will dampen that effectiveness.”
Once you’re ready to launch a direct-mail campaign, it’s time to turn things over to USPS, which offers plenty of insights of its own on direct-mail marketing.
Once your mail is sent, you’ll have plenty of opportunities over the next few months to remind current customers of your business and introduce yourself to prospects, Rothschild adds.
“Breaking through the digital fog to forge a personal connection with customers can be as simple as the price of postage,” she has found.