Michael Plummer, Jr. is President/CEO/CTO of Our Town America, a premier New Mover Marketing franchise.
In this age of technology we live in, there’s no shortage of ways to get your message out digitally. Social media alone has expanded the reach of savvy companies that cultivate Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now even TikTok accounts to reach potential customers. As Generation Z gets older, these options are likely to continue to grow.
With all of these new avenues of digital marketing, some companies have shifted away from traditional methods like direct mail—an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality. However, just because the traditional methods have been around a long time doesn’t mean they don’t work. In fact, the reason they’ve been around so long is because they do work.
Direct Mail Vs. Email
One of the oldest methods of getting your message out is direct mail.
Direct mail is any advertising material that a person receives in their physical mailbox—brochures, postcards, flyers or catalogs, to name a few.
These days, people’s mailboxes are pretty empty, as most of us receive bills electronically and use email for our business and social correspondence. Any direct mail that arrives should stand out more than it would have just a few years ago.
Since it’s tangible, even if the recipients throw it away, they first have to look at and touch it. Compare that with mass-marketing emails, or what’s called “spam.” People receive so many emails today that many unsolicited ones are deleted without being opened. Plus, some of the marketing emails aren’t even delivered to potential clients’ inboxes, as email providers have a filter specifically designed to get rid of spam.
While email is an inexpensive way to reach large numbers of people instantaneously, I believe an email campaign can be much more effective if used in conjunction with a direct mail campaign.
Combining Strategies To Best Target Potential Customers
According to the online statistics and market research firm Statista, advertisers are expected to spend about $43 billion on direct mail in 2022. That’s a 3.5% increase over the almost $42 billion spent in 2020. Omnisend market research (via Forbes) found that the purchase rate of an omnichannel marketing campaign is 287% higher than that of single-channel marketing.
You need to start with a strong direct mail campaign. A mass mailing to a large sample of people is a waste of resources. To quote the Smithsonian National Postal Museum: “There is no such thing as junk mail—only poorly designed and implemented campaigns.” To get the best results, it’s important that you target certain demographics within a specific market. It has to be a service they need that is convenient to their location. For instance, an elderly person doesn’t need a children’s haircut discount from a salon 50 miles from their home. With all of the digital resources today, it’s easy to find the precise demographic you want to target.
Once you identify your target audience and put your ad in their hands, you need to give them a reason not to discard it. Maybe it’s an offer promising a significant discount for trying your business. You could also reinforce the message through digital channels.
Including a Quick Response (QR) code that the consumer can scan with their phone for a special offer can be powerful. Once on your website, you can have them sign up for special offers using their email address. Now, you have both their physical address and their email address. Also, now your email will populate in their inbox instead of their spam folder, and they will recognize your name—making it more likely to be opened.
That piece of direct mail can also entice recipients to visit your social media sites—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Through those channels, you can move them to your website and obtain their email addresses.
In the future, I believe the most effective marketing campaigns will be the ones that best combine both traditional methods like direct mail and digital marketing, including social media, in a one-two punch that can get your business noticed.