direct mail and mobile phones

The Marriage of Mobile and Direct Mail: Part I

By The frank Agency

At first glance, they may seem like a mismatched couple. Direct mail and mobile marketing – it’s hard to find two things that seemingly live in more different worlds. One lives in your hand, while the other stays in the cloud. One is high tech, the other low tech. On the surface, they don’t seem to have much in common.

But take a closer look. This odd couple is actually a dynamic duo that can help your marketing campaign reap serious rewards. The secret lies in finding the right way to combine them and integrate your direct mail and digital efforts.

Different formats, shared goals and challenges.

The details may be different, but direct mail and mobile marketing have the same basic objective, namely finding a compelling way to drive business. They’re both tools in your marketing arsenal designed to elicit a desired reaction, sometimes even the same action (“visit our website” or “follow us on social media.”)

They face many of the same challenges too. Just like most people sort their mail over the trash bin, many people check their email with their finger already hovering over the delete button. Both formats have just a small window of opportunity to catch the target’s attention and inspire an action.

Why mail still makes sense in an age of technology.

Direct mail is still going strong and makes a lot of sense for marketers. It might sound oxymoronic, but as physical mail volume declines, mailpieces are becoming increasingly effective ways for marketers to stand out. This is partially because physical mailboxes are becoming less direct mail and mobile technology couponcrowded, which means fewer pieces to compete for attention, but it’s also because people, especially the coveted millennial demographic, still like to receive real, tangible mail. Maybe it’s the novelty factor, or maybe it’s a sense of retro-cool, but many young people rely on catalogs, fliers and other printed materials for purchase-related information. Among people aged 18-21, direct mail has a response rate of 12.4%.

Direct mail is also accurate. The vast majority of people check their own mailboxes, which means, at the very least, they’re sure to glance at your mailpiece, at least momentarily. Most people will open things addressed to them out of curiosity, or because they believe it might be important. For that reason alone, mail offers a reliable visibility that nothing else can match.

Overall, direct mail has a household response rate of 5.1%, compared to .6% for email and paid search, .4% for social media and .2% for display ads. These numbers are clear – people like tangible marketing materials.

With this in mind, in an increasingly online world, there is still a strong need for direct mail in marketing campaigns. The key is to link your direct mail and your email marketing, social media and other digital efforts in a way that will optimize both efforts.

Multi-channel marketing for a multi-channel world.

To get the most out of your marketing, you should find a marriage of direct mail and mobile marketing. A study by Merkle found that adding a digital media component to direct mail saw a 118% increase in response rates compared to digital mail alone. When you think about it, this makes sense. How often do you visit a website before calling a company? If you’re like 90% of people, you do it all the time.

There are other benefits of creating synergy between your mail pieces and your digital efforts as well. For one thing, postal mail gives you a true opt-in with higher qualified leads. If someone submits their email address after being prompted by a mailpiece, you can be certain he or she is seriously interested in your offering.

Mail-mobile hybrid pieces also let you target hyper-locality. You can thoroughly saturate a distinct locality, providing an ideal way to identify locally engaged prospects, drive them to your website and track them across channels.

This isn’t even mentioning one of the key advantages of using an orchestrated mobile-traditional mail marketing strategy: it works great for retargeting. According to Criteo, website visitors who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert. That alone should make adding a mail component part of your campaigns.

Curious as to how you can use technology to beef up your direct mail marketing? Check back to read Part 2 of our blog in the coming weeks for a step-by-step breakdown.

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