The Case for Direct Mail

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the case for direct mail

Direct Mail appears to be on the increase, according to a new article in CIM’s ‘The Marketer’ magazine (March/April 2012). From a slump in 2009 to around 1.4billion items – mostly due to the ever-increasing sophistication of email, the channel underwent resurgence in 2010 with over 1.7billion items in circulation.

This is something we have noticed, as last year we did the unthinkable and ‘actually designed and printed a 28pp showcase brochure’! We strongly believe that with the ever-increasing dominance of digital, there is now differentiation to be found in print.

What makes great direct marketing?

Of course, as print is relatively more expensive and junk is still junk whatever form it takes, it is really important to deliver an exceptionally well designed and produced piece: one that grabs the recipients’ interest and engages them to take the exchange further. A great piece of direct mail gives you the opportunity to create a high-end look and feel, or convert the user with a compelling offer or voucher. Think about the brands that occupy your doorstep now, a great many of them are online brands (Laithwaites, Amazon, Cox & Cox, Not on the High Street, Isabella Oliver) that have embraced physical DM as a genuine accompaniment to their primary digital offering.

Integrating with digital

It is then that a complementary digital strategy can really support a campaign with intelligence (from data collected post send) and then digital follow up (or re: marketing) following an exchange online. Whilst print is a great medium for the initial communication, the majority of customers like to respond and convert digitally; therefore the provision of trackable landing pages with additional compelling content serves to reinforce the first message. In addition, social media links and QR codes deliver more interaction possibilities with your brand and also provides a means of measurement – all enabling the Direct Marketer to measure ROI.

Data, data, data…

The article then goes on to state the importance of data, and the accuracy and segmentation possibilities of good data. We’ve been advocates of this for some time, in particular on digital DM campaigns; our email marketing system has an integrated ‘watchdog’ that throws out bad data. Bad data is the biggest waste of time and money out there, so be scrupulous as to whom you are buying it from. We have done a great deal of work with data provider ‘Selectabase’ on their website, transforming it into a business tool that generates traffic, leads and online reputation. The website is a business system that enables you to search on highly segmented data populations, then build a list, get a quote and then purchase online. Selectabase offer hassle free and highly accurate data for great DM campaigns and we wholly recommend them.

What next…

Don’t settle for DM that does not form part of an integrated strategy that is linked to a clear set of objectives.

If you don’t know where you are, or where you are going – then how are you supposed to get there? That is the premise The Marketing People’s pre: marketing step where the brand and the campaign objectives are set, and then move on to the marketing step where the communications are built and delivered through the right channels.

Primarily, the majority of our clients wish to increase sales. Who wouldn’t? However to achieve this, we’re increasingly finding that clients who invest in quality, who target their prospective audience fanatically and who add in clear conversion and a ‘next step’ get the very best results. Once the initial results are in, the project does not end there – the re: marketing step is then used to tailor responses to results and narrow the funnel even further.

If you are currently planning a direct marketing or integrated campaign, and are looking for a partner that is strategic and creative then get in touch with us now.

Credit & references: Trevor Clawson writing on behalf of CIM The Marketer Magazine (March/April 2012)

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