The Evolution of Direct Mail Outreach Getting the Most Out of Your Mailings
“In an increasingly digital world, direct mail seems old and boring,” said Neil Patel, Top 10 Marketer (Forbes) and entrepreneur. And yet, as an integrated marketer, it would be unwise to leave it out of your marketing mix. In fact, Patel goes on to explain that “Direct mail is…a game-changer for any serious marketer.”
The NumbersAccording to Fundera, 70% of consumers find direct mail more personal than online interactions, with 54% indicating that they want to receive direct mail from brands that interest them. 42% say that they read the direct mail they receive, and direct mail response rates are 5-9% times higher than that of any other advertising channel.
Direct Mail’s EvolutionTraditional
If your familiarity with direct mail dates to when the primary strategy in use was “spray and pray,” or geographic saturation, you should know that things have come a long way. That now largely outdated method for direct mail relied on flooding an area with your mailer based almost exclusively on zip codes (there are still some situations where this remains a valid practice, of course. See EDDM below).
As things became more sophisticated, additional selections became available to integrated marketers. Unfortunately, they were still not very personal. These included criteria, including age, household net worth, home value, location, education level, or the number of children in the home. The challenge with these broad lists is that there is no guarantee that your target audience lives within a specific zip code range. Secondly, these conditions often have little relationship to the mail recipient for many businesses. Lastly, you have no idea if the recipients are high-intent potential customers.
The more you can stack these measures, the more complete an audience profile you will have built. A more fully built-out understanding of your ideal audience allows you to customize your messaging for the recipient—down to including their name and other personal details—thus increasing the chances of direct mail effectiveness.