There are a couple of things in this world that are just really hard to kill: zombies and direct mail. But unless you’re in the entertainment industry, only one of them can actually help you grow your business—and it’s not the walking undead.
Despite the rumors of its collapse and death as a viable marketing component, direct mail is still alive and kicking. And some in the marketing community are even observing a rebirth of sorts for this long-time staple of connecting businesses with potential customers.
You may have heard that mail volume is down (true). You may have read the reports about how direct mail can be expensive (also true). And you may have seen statistics that convincingly argue that consumers don’t like “junk mail” (strike three?). Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs research shows that roughly one-third of marketers use print as part of their content-marketing strategies. With everything focused on digital strategies, who needs print?
Why then, won’t direct mail just die and go away? Printed media (of which direct mail is but one component) has a certain appeal. Here are three reasons why direct mail that’s done properly still has an impact.
The “Circle of Life” Effect: Things tend to go in cycles—even in marketing. There is a whole generation for whom direct mail is “new” because they simply haven’t seen it much. When every other message you get is digital, a printed piece tends to stand out.
The “Perception of Importance” Effect: Despite the fact that we all get so much information online, we maintain a certain amount of skepticism when it comes to information on the Web. Many people still consider printed material as more credible than digital information. People are also aware that print costs more, so there is a perception that if someone considered it worth the time, effort and money to print and mail something—there must be something important about it.
The “Oasis” Effect: A report by McKinsey Global Institute found that—on average—office workers spent 13 hours a week on emails alone, sending, receiving and sorting online communications. And according to marketingcharts.com Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 who use social media spend an average of 3.2 hours a day doing so. We frequently hear someone say, “The last thing I want to do when I get home is turn on my computer.” Direct mail can be a bit of an oasis in the online desert. People can pick up information without feeling like they are at work.
Direct mail can still have a powerful impact. But one of the key phrases in what’s listed above is that it has to be done properly. Simply sending out postcards, mailers or letters isn’t going to get you where you want to go. A successful direct mail campaign needs to be strategic and it needs to be well executed. Check here for some helpful tips on best practices for successful direct mail.
Direct mail is one of those things that just won’t die. And if you do it well, it’s a lot more effective (and a lot less messy) than bringing in zombies to boost your marketing efforts!