July 5, 2022

Direct Mail Is Having a Moment — Seize It

By Megan O'Gorden
Categories

Summary:

• As consumers spend more time at home, marketers have had to adapt their engagement strategies.

• Welcomed into homes on a daily basis, direct mail is an effective way to enhance your campaigns — no matter what your objectives.

• Read on to learn how you can seize the direct mail opportunity.

Record-high inflation is driving up prices across the board and dampening demand in the marketplace, making it necessary for many businesses to pivot their marketing strategies. Of course, going silent isn’t an option if the goal is to remain part of everyday purchase decisions.

So how can marketers achieve top-of-mind awareness? The mailbox offers an ideal path to cut through the clutter and gain the undivided attention of valuable customers and household decision-makers. With digital advertising soaring 35 percent in 2021 and saturating consumers with marketing messages, direct mail is enjoying its time in the spotlight.

People find coupons in their mail incredibly useful. Vericast’s Consumer Intel Report data revealed that:

  • 70% of consumers compare prices between brands using the printed store circular (increases to 78% of millennials, 86% of parents, 88% of millennial parents and 79% of affluent consumers, significantly higher versus all consumers)
  • 49% of consumers miss the printed grocery store circular on weeks when it isn’t delivered (increases to 62% for parents overall and millennial parents, significantly higher versus all consumers)

Now is a great time to seize the opportunity and invest in your direct mail marketing strategy. That does not mean you have to cut out all other marketing channels — direct mail can easily complement media across the board. If the increased consumer interest and receptivity aren’t enough, here are three more reasons to embrace direct mail as part of your post-pandemic marketing plan:

1. It’s an unsaturated environment

The mailbox isn’t as noisy as the email inbox or the social media feed. That’s the beauty of direct mail marketing: There’s less competition for people’s attention, and your audience is open to receiving it. Vericast research shows that 70 percent of consumers read or look at mail ads. And they keep direct mail ads they find interesting for 14.5 days on average. According to our Deals & Coupons Report, 44 percent of consumers “feel good about a coupon or discount that comes in the mail because it’s an exclusive offer that not everyone receives.”

While it is highly scalable from local to national coverage, direct mail can target local neighborhoods around key store locations. For example, Save Direct Mail provides access to over 112 million households across the entire country. Yet, ad inserts can be customized to resonate with the local audience.

There’s something to be said for getting a piece of mail. It’s tactile, which can leave an impression on the recipient that strengthens recall and brand awareness. With the right message, you have a tremendous opportunity to engage people with a mailer — now or in the future.

2. It’s able to plug in anywhere

Every household checks the mail. People might not read everything they receive, but they certainly sort through it. Vericast research also found 36 percent of consumers want both paper and digital coupons and discounts. So, despite the growing popularity of digital coupons, the mailbox is — more than ever — a valuable and versatile source of information.

Direct mail integrates seamlessly with other marketing tactics, and it can be an invaluable partner as part of an omnichannel marketing strategy. Let’s say you send out a mailer and then follow up with recipients via an email reminder. From there, you could decide to keep things going with a display ad and a little retargeting. Each layer of this approach amplifies an overall marketing campaign and can drive more consumers to your business.

Direct mail offers an effective way to augment a digital ad campaign or be the hero, with emails or display advertising directing attention to a special message delivered to physical mailboxes. No matter the situation, a direct mail marketing strategy can integrate with and amplify your current campaign.

3. Its ROI is swift and substantial

Some people assume direct mail campaigns have long lead times but building a campaign doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. The right collaborator can help develop an efficient, affordable and customized mail strategy.

With the right partner, you can plan, create, and implement a direct mail marketing strategy in just a few short weeks. Even if you don’t have a direct mail campaign in your plans yet, you can get one up and running in no time.

There’s no need to break the bank, either. You might think direct mail is an expensive marketing channel, but you can manage direct mail marketing costs quite a bit with a few minor adjustments. For example, using a vendor that leverages economies of scale for production and distribution can save substantial money on a campaign. With the right partner, there are ways to customize messages to be more affordable.

As with any other modern marketing channel, direct mail allows for personalization — and we’re not just talking about adding a person’s name. With a flexible partner and good data, you can send certain messages to specific neighborhoods or households based on demographics or purchase behavior. Layering in lifestyles, behaviors, hobbies and interests to further segment an audience enables the creation of truly personalized direct mail marketing campaigns or offers specific to each subset of your customer base.

Vericast Dynamic Postcards use predictive intelligence with tailored messages for powerful 1:1 personalized offers, messages, and images to each household to drive strong responses. Solo direct mail is even more targeted, allowing you to engage exclusively the high-value households you want.

Now Is the Time

Emails, display ads, and mobile messaging can alert consumers to products currently in stock, but direct mail tends to have a different vibe than digital messaging.

With direct mail, you’re putting valuable and tangible information in the hands of relevant households and buyers. It can still encourage people to shop — particularly as consumers make purchases in different ways amid rising prices.

Direct mail has a reliable place in any marketing plan. But during this opportunity to reset and refresh your marketing strategy, direct mail is the option you shouldn’t ignore. For more insight on how to boost your direct mail impact, download our infographic, “Raise Response + ROI in a Big Way With Save Direct Mail.”

As part of the Vericast marketing team, Megan O’Gorden specializes in the CPG promotions landscape. She has 20+ years of experience in product storytelling and go-to-market execution, helping clients discover and utilize solutions that drive consumer engagement and positive business results.

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