At its core, marketing is about competition. In a diverse market where you’re up against multiple competitors, marketing is what gives you the edge. Companies will spend millions of dollars in campaigns and strategies that give them the edge over their competitors. Our previous article on the ‘Marketers’ Guide to Competitive Intelligence talks about why and how marketers approach the market and construct these strategies.
A foundational part of a marketing strategy is, of course, the marketing techniques and tools. Thanks to the development of the Internet and new ways of sharing and communicating. And learning, there are a thousand and one methods that marketers can choose from. But embodying real competitive intelligence is finding the right tool for you. And with such a range of choice that isn’t always easy. Today, we’re going to help you explore one of the most reliable options in a marketer’s arsenal: direct mail marketing.
In a highly digital world, direct mail marketing may not always be a company’s first choice. But it’s staying power is simply due to one thing: it’s effective. In fact, it might be more effective than many other digital marketing options. Direct mail (29%) was even found to be more effective than paid online searches (23%) and online displays (16%), according to business writer Kent Moon. That means you’re getting more responses per mail item you send out, and much better value for your marketing budget.
People may assume that direct mail is all about paper coupons or flyers sent in the mail, but there’s actually a ton of materials and formats available to you. In fact, in many ways direct mail may actually be more flexible than many online marketing techniques, which are simply confined to your customers’ screens. A breakdown of what paper postcards are by Triadex Services details how they can come in custom perforations and die cut, plastic postcards, tri-fold mailers, envelope mailers, menu mailers, and much more. Some companies even send out gift items to sweeten the deal — almost anything is possible as long as it can be mailed out.
While creativity is a core aspect of direct mail marketing, that isn’t the only reason why it’s so effective. Direct mail is fundamentally more impactful than other forms of marketing, digital or traditional, and science explains why. Research done by the United States Postal Service found that physical advertisements like direct mail had more impact when compared with digital ads. Customers spent more time with the mail pieces, remembered them for longer and more confidently, and desired them more. Physical ads also elicited stronger emotional responses than digital ads.
Techniques like email marketing may seem more attractive due to their convenience and lower price, but they don’t have the staying power. When it comes to advertising and marketing, you’re looking for things that stick in your consumers’ minds. When pit against direct mail marketing, email’s longevity just doesn’t match up. A study by the Go Inspire Group found that direct mail marketing had a much longer shelf life: a whopping 17 days, compared to email marketing’s two-second views. That’s fantastic for brand recall and message retention, and might even be the tipping point that puts your campaign head and shoulders above your competitors’.