In our highly connected world we can think that marketing and promotion is an electronic process exclusively. Of course then we open our mail box and check the promotions which come in and we look at the print flyers which are directed through newspaper and door delivery. At times we don't see that the volume of both have changed at all.
It strikes me that these types of promotions are not done by accident and that they show that direct mail and print still have a place in the marketing mix. Should they be replaced by on line and email promotion? Only individual organizations can decide this for themselves however for many if the budget is available then using targeted direct mail can still be a viable promotion tool.
Of course Canada Post agrees with that approach and is taking some specific steps to encourage businesses and others (charities) to continue to use post as a means to communication their message to customers and potential customers.
One way they have done this is to change the postage rate structure to encourage the use of business postage through meters as opposed to the use of stamps. We have covered some of the implications of these changes in previous articles but have not specifically addressed direct mail before.
Canada Post has a very helpful program of information which can offer suggestions on how to carry out a direct mail campaign including a series of short videos anchored by
In this video the case is made for using direct mail and some suggestions are provided on how to do so well.
In studies of direct mail responses the following data is provided:
The top three actions consumers take after receiving direct mail from a brand they’re interested in:
44% visit a brands’ website
34% search online for more information about the product
26% keep the mailing for future reference. (Source RIT: http://printinthemix.com/Fastfacts/Show/749)
Of course if you look at studies done of electronic promotion then you will see similar reponses for that medium.
The point I'm making here is that ruling out direct mail as a tool for your business without considering what it might do for you, the level of your ability to carry out a suitable campaign and determining whether it fits within your budget might be a mistake.
Combining direct mail with other elements of your marketing program such as SEO (search engine optimization), email campaigns and other forms of media can have an incremental benefit to a business. With new tools such as QR codes which can link printed material directly to an on line landing page using a simple (and free) app from any smart phone or tablet the integration is much simpler.
Direct mail has been around since the invention of the postage stamp and probably before that time with hand written documents sent to multiple readers. Designing its creative use into your marketing mix can provide benefits to your business. Investigating how this can assist you to connect with your customers can be time well spent.