Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns: 3 Reasons Why They Are Still Useful

By: Nick McAuliff

Published On 03/22/2017

With digital marketing through social media, email campaigns and online ads becoming the norm, you may find it hard to believe that direct mail marketing is still alive. More than just alive, it's thriving. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, 70 percent of Americans believe direct mail to be more "personal" than online advertising. That's a powerful statistic, and it speaks volumes for the importance of a relevant marketing campaign. Indeed, creating such a feeling in a would-be consumer equates to building trust, and sales often follow trust. With the rapidly advancing information age we live in, businesses large and small are suited for a wider range of effective marketing solutions. Utilizing direct mail in tandem with digital marketing can produce powerful, tangible results. Here are three key reasons you should consider a direct mail marketing campaign.  

1. You can test the waters

Online ads on high-traffic sites can cost large amounts of money, and chances are, your business's marketing funds are not limitless. Therefore, it pays to increase your chances of attaining measurable results that you can use in future marketing campaigns. Direct mail is a perfect way to do that. Direct mail allows you to gauge a target group's interest via their responses (or lack thereof) to your material. If your millennial crowd isn't responding well, you can tailor the campaign to older crowds while promoting the same service or product. The importance of keeping an organized and current mailing list throughout this process is paramount. Also, some questions you need to consider before launching your direct mail campaign include:

.   Do you have the resources to answer a significantly higher volume of responses than anticipated?

.   Can you afford to scale your campaign accordingly?

Having a contingency plan for these scenarios is important to avoid getting caught off guard. Though the effectiveness of direct mail can be great, an inadequate response rate will defeat the purpose.

2. It's highly scalable

By using direct mail marketing as a feedback mechanism to gauge interest, you can either build upon your print campaign or translate it directly to digital marketing. Either way, the key here is that it's a scalable process, which means you are always getting a return on your investment. The information you gain is valuable, and has many uses. Start with smaller, more affordable options like simple informational brochures, single-page newsletters and sales letters. If these yield high response rates and a growing mailing list, you can increase the volume of your mailing output. It may sound trivial but it's worthy of mention: do not forget to include response cards in your mail package. A potential customer who wants to answer the call to action from your sales letter needs a convenient, effortless way to do so. 

3. Novelty

You may think a word like "novelty" has no place in any discussion on direct mail. But as the times change and new patterns of advertising take hold, we circle back to direct mail as a less popular route. In fact, with the advent and rapid spread of digital marketing, direct mail campaigns are becoming rarer every year. That can work to a business's favor because it gives the target audience something new and unexpected. Older crowds such as the baby-boomer generation may smile at the mailbox when they have something tangible to grasp and read through. Millennials, so used to online advertising and intrusive popups, may feel refreshed and be more receptive to a direct mail campaign.

Launching a direct mail campaign can be both affordable and useful for your business growth. Used as a feedback mechanism to gauge and hone in on your target audience, it allows you to polish your overall marketing strategies. By itself, direct mail can work wonders with older folks who rarely frequent the internet. In the larger picture, a direct mail campaign always delivers highly valuable data; even if the campaign is a failure, it tells you something. The most powerful aspect of direct mail is its potential to supercharge your larger marketing strategy. Before you dismiss direct mail as a viable means of advertising, consider the above advantages and long-term gains.