Social media and direct mail are distant relatives, and exceptional in their own rights. They’re both from the same family, with the aim to boost your brand profile, but only recently are the two mediums joining forces. Direct mail itself is coming out of the shadows of social media, with a massive boom in the number of companies utilising the potential of mail advertising. The likes of Facebook and Google are turning to the medium - particularly with 65 per cent of respondents giving mail their full attention. Put those stats together with the figures from social media marketing, and your company has produced an unstoppable force. In fact, pairing the two could lift responses by a factor of 118 per cent. Washington Direct Mail are sharing the possibilities for marketing campaigns combining the pair.
Why choose direct mail?
Direct mail boasts proven results - there’s no wonder companies continually incorporate the marketing method to campaigns. In 2018 alone, direct mailing has experienced a substantial lift in companies utilising the potential, as we move further into the digital age and look for alternative options to ‘switching off’.
Your company should not underestimate the opportunities for the traditional marketing channel. As mentioned above, we live in a digital age and the number of emails and online ads available today is staggering. Today, taking a look back at the past is a great option for being heard and standing out from the crowd. We can attribute the success of direct mail marketing today due to touch - something digital advertisement will never be able to offer. The ability to physically touch mail increases our memory, in particular, the ability to recall the message in the campaign, and is far superior to that of social marketing. For example, holding a marketing campaign is greater than scanning an email before deleting. Delving further into the nitty-gritty, the type of paper used for mail marketing can even help to build the relationship between brand and consumer.
Why social media marketing?
The above stats are already impressive, and the figures for social media marketing should only enhance your determination to combine the two. For example, the likes of Twitter boasts 330 million monthly active users, with the number only growing. In total, there are over 3.196 billion social media users, so there’s plenty of scope for your marketing campaign. While those stats are staggering, we cannot ignore other mediums - particularly as we are bombarded with Facebook ads and email marketing etc. We are at risk of content becoming overwhelming, and companies need to diversify to be seen. It is, most definitely, a case of shout the loudest. At some point, we will reach critical mass and consumers will have so many calls-to-action, they will not know where to turn (which is where direct mail comes into play). You certainly cannot ignore the number of people on the internet, but you can segment and prioritise your consumers - delivering direct mail to those most relevant and identified as the prospects most likely to engage. Facebook, for example, has been suffering in the media of late, losing the trust of their users. Therefore, they’ve been attempting to build transparency with direct mail marketing.
Direct mail is showing positive signs of strength, as marketing campaigns delivered to your door and placed in your hands are significantly harder to ignore than that of an email. It’s possible to delete an email without a second thought, yet you have to actively pick up mail to discard. As consumers expect brands to be everywhere and available at all times, the most suitable option seems to be integrating digital and direct mail.
The power of integrated marketing
As mentioned above, the potential for each marketing medium is exponential. Together, you could massively expand your reach and attract new customers. Combining the two caters to all prospects, enabling you to gather more consumer information and segment your audience, thus producing hyper-personalised marketing. Social media marketing can target shoppers as they browse websites, and retarget them if they move away from your brand. Direct mail can appeal to those at home, producing niche messages that add value to their life and cannot be ignored. Essentially, you are showcasing your brand as available at all times, boosting your profile and, subsequently, revenue.
Programmatic mail is one such example for E-commerce stores. Typically, if a consumer browses your site, places an item in the basket and later abandons it - you would send a basket reminder email. While they do boast success rates, you can now send your prospect basket reminder direct mail within 12 hours. Paperplanes, a UK tech startup, is one of the pioneers of the trend, reporting a 14 per cent uplift in basket recovery.
You can also integrate digital advertising into mail through the likes of QR codes and specific URLs. You can encourage prospects to visit the landing page through an exclusive offer or discount, and measure the responses you receive. From there, you can replicate the campaign if successful, or identify changes to make for your next campaign. Similarly, the use of QR codes suits the recent movement towards AR. A simple scan of the code could produce an illustration, thus encouraging consumers to visit your site.
Ultimately, the marketing world is continually changing. The likes of AR and Snapchat are recent trends to dominate the industry. Today, you cannot solely rely on one marketing medium to appeal to all consumers. You must adapt and integrate to survive and stand out from the crowd. You must also note the changes in data legislation, with the GDPR coming into force in May. Direct mail marketing doesn’t explicitly require consent - if you can prove the campaign is worthwhile - so it may be worth adopting for those struggling with the changes to personal data.
Jason Sullock, Marketing Manager, Washington Direct Mail
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