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Don’t Use Direct Mail!

It’s very expensive to print and post

Direct mail is one of the most expensive methods of communications in your arsenal of options. With email, SMS and social media providing the means to put messaging out at a significantly smaller cost.

With the advances in software and digital print, having hyper-personalised direct mail content has never been more accessible and appealing with the right data management. Generic mailing content really does not need to exist anymore, it’s simply too expensive to get the targeting and content wrong! Using the right data technology can ensure that you avoid the hefty costs that can come with getting it wrong. For example, using programmatic mail to automate the production of the direct mail and using variable images and texts to ensure the content is relevant can ensure that your mail goes out to the right person at the right time with the right message to generate the right action.

There’s a lot of wastage

Too many of the mailings you send out will go to people who have no interest in interacting with your company.

Waste occurs through a failure to accurately target. By understanding your data and your audience you can achieve a higher uptake. More than 92% of direct mail is opened and 48% of adults took action after receiving direct mail last year*. Personalisation is a key tool in the marketeers armoury, it drives up the relevance of your communications and increases cut through.

Direct mail shouldn’t be used in isolation, it should always be part of an integrated marketing strategy that involves different tools and techniques. A clear objective will ensure there is no wastage.

It just gets thrown away

People view direct mail as junk mail and will immediately discard it without even reading it.

Marketing emails are often dismissed from the subject line alone as more people access emails on mobile phones than on their desktop, an email is just a swipe away from being deleted. Addressed mail stays in the home an average of 17 days with 92% of all direct mail items being opened and 63% of those are opened immediately*. At the very least, your message gets a cursory glance.

Direct mail achieves an average ROI of 29% compared to an online ROI of 16%, customers are more likely to respond to communication that feels personal and direct mail, if done well, feels more personal than the more frequently used online options. It cuts through the noise because it is more memorable.

Making your direct mail memorable is all about planning and strategy. Again, personalisation is a vital tool and it needs to be sent at the right time to avoid getting thrown away, doing your research is key. For example, direct mail sent on Monday to Wednesday is most likely to result in a purchase.

It takes too long

Email can be in the recipient’s inbox in seconds, direct mail takes days as it has to be printed, fulfilled, given to the postie and delivered.

It is true that direct mail takes more time to produce and get to the recipient, but not all marketing campaigns are thought up and executed in the matter of hours. When planning a campaign the potential of direct mail and its effectiveness should be considered.

With the advent of programmatic mail it is possible to connect e-commerce strategies with direct mail and have printed communication follow up to online browsing. For example, John is browsing red trainers during his lunch break, drops a pair into his basket but doesn’t check out. An afternoon programmatic process runs, creating a piece of direct mail and sending it first class, landing on John’s doorstep the following morning. While it takes longer to get there, the mailer isn’t competing with inbox space with all the social media notifications and every other retailer that John visited during his lunch break.

Direct mail may not be right for all campaigns, but it has its merits and should be considered as a strong tool in your arsenal, even when you need to be responsive.

It isn’t environmentally friendly

Direct mail uses too much paper and it isn’t environmentally friendly.

Yes, direct mail is less environmentally friendly than email, however, it’s your choice as to how environmentally friendly you want your direct mail to be. It is easy to use recycled papers, paper from sustainable sources, water-based inks or biodegradable wrapping. You determine if your direct mail is environmentally friendly or not.

If you select the right products, it’s possible to be 100% recyclable with your direct mail and it’s not cost prohibitive when you compare them to non-recyclable alternatives.

Don’t use Direct Mail

For every reason to not use direct mail, there is a reason why you should. The biggest reason for including it as part of any appropriate marketing campaign or communications programme is a simple one, it works.

*information and figures from https://jicmail.org.uk and https://marketreach.co.uk

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