Create a conversation through direct mail

We can all tell by our social media feeds that marketers have focused on social media as their number one priority. Maybe everyone is looking for that next viral hit or maybe it’s because executives still think that social media can be done for free. As I mentioned in my marketing trends blog, social still tops the list for services that marketers will be investing in for 2017, according to Target Marketing. Direct Mail, however, actually came in as their number four priority.

I know, based on my daughter’s “Snaps,” that there is certainly a place for social media. But I’m a numbers guy. It’s important to look at the metrics for social as compared to other forms of marketing. A report from a few years ago provided by the Direct Marketing Association found that direct mail brings in a 3.6% higher response rate, compared to social media and email combined. It doesn’t seem as though that stat has changed much. If you haven’t already, I invite you to integrate direct mail into your marketing plan. Maybe it’s time to see just what it can do for your brand.

Need some proof? In a study conducted by our friends up north, a Canadian neuromarketing firm named TrueImpact compared the effects of direct mail with digital marketing. Eye tracking technology, along with EEG brain wave measurement, and questionnaires were all used to get to the end result.

Drum roll …

TrueImpact found that direct mail was easiest to process mentally and tested better for brand recognition. It requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media, suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable.

Now that I’ve shown you that print can be effective, let’s look at the best way to execute direct mail. Put these guidelines at the top of your list. Make sure your message is compelling with a strong call-to-action (CTA). Target well-qualified customers who will be interested in your product or services. Then focus on the design and messaging.

When you send a direct mail piece, you are creating a conversation with the customer and the best part is you control the message! Here’s what to consider when developing your message.

1.    Communicate clearly: State the benefits for your prospect or customers. If you can, use the data that you have to make it personalized. Write the messaging from their point of view. Include an actionable CTA that will compel them to act: a special onetime offer, an exclusive or a deal with an expiration date will drive up the response. Provide multiple ways to respond including PURLs, email or phone numbers that will ensure your direct mail is an integrated part of your marketing plan and one that can be measured.

2.    Design: I find this one to be the toughest for some of my customers. Do not overcrowd your message. Be clear and to the point. Use bullet points, or bold key information, and vary the font size. Also, keep some white space for a calmer feel as you never want to overwhelm the recipient.

3.    Format: Before starting the design stage, consider what type of direct mail is best. Is it a postcard, a self-mailer or a letter in an envelope? For self-mailers and post cards, obviously it is more important to select colors that create the feel you want. The imagery should convey the message and draw attention. Emotions are very important. (I’ll drop this in again – you can personalize imagery too!) Include pictures of people using your products or services so they can more easily relate when applicable. Select colors that create the feeling you wish to convey. Choose the right fonts for the right audience. (i.e. larger fonts for older audiences).

Any way you slice it, a compelling direct mail piece is one that is well thought out and planned. Considering all of the above pointers will bring you the best results in your direct mail campaign.

Need some help or just want to talk through ideas on how to accomplish what you need? Contact me.