It may be hard to believe nowadays, but there’s a lot more to marketing than the Internet. Offline marketing techniques still work, and work well. Direct mail still especially works well, according to a survey by Universal McCann, who found that direct mail spending has kept climbing in recent years by about 8% per year.
Just check your mailbox – I bet you get at least one direct mail piece nearly every day. And you look at that piece and either put it away for later, act on it or throw it away. If you do any one of those actions, you at least read it, and that’s the point of direct mail: get people to recognize your company and products. By reading who the direct mail piece was from, you’ve just created a memory. The next time you see that company’s name, you’ll reach back into your memories and remember it so it’ll feel familiar to you. That’s one benefit of direct mail.
Here are some other benefits of using direct mail:
Direct mail is tangible
There is definitely something to be said for the value of touching something. This important sense can inform and generate a positive emotional response which can make a huge difference in customer loyalty and people buying decisions. A mailing pack can be designed in a high quality fashion using quality papers and print finishes that exude quality and reinforce brand values in a way that emails never can. In fact as well as touch it is also possible to include scent and perfume samples which also draw customers in.
You can target people more accurately.
You can buy mailing lists that will tell you about the households you can mail your brochures, postcards and direct mail pieces to. You can find out who has kids, who has pets, people’s average annual income, further broken down by demographics – you get to know these people and you can tailor your message so that they’ll feel compelled to take action. You can’t do that with just an email address.
It can drive traffic to your Web site. According to the Direct Marketing Association, nearly 33% of people respond to direct mail online. Instead of telling people to call you for information, they can visit your Web site whenever they want to get more information. No phone sales pressure, no one trying to sell them anything in their face.
Direct mail pieces are more personal.
Not only do you get to the target you really want to reach, the target feels like they get to know you a little better. Touching your postcard or feeling your shiny brochure paper makes people feel more in tune with your company and your product. They are interacting with something you’ve created. On the other hand, they can’t touch your emails.
People are curious.
Brochure and catalog printing are great vehicles for getting into people’s homes. People like to browse through catalogs, even if they aren’t interested in buying, just to satisfy their curiosity and see what’s out there. These people wouldn’t go out of their way to go out and pick up your catalog, but hey, if you’re going to send it to their home ….
You have time to get into details.
With direct mail pieces like brochures or letters, once you hook the consumer with a great headline and photo, they’ll want to read more info and you can give them the info they want. You have ample space with many direct mail pieces to describe your product (after detailing the benefits of the product). For those consumers who need to gather as much information as possible, direct mail gives them that detailed information and the options to read it at their leisure.