Some things, like oil and water or orange juice and toothpaste, just don’t mix well. Digital companies and direct mail probably didn’t come to mind immediately, but it seems like they might make the “do not mix” list as well. But not so quick. When it comes to direct marketing, many of the most savvy online companies are using printed communications to their great advantage.
One such example is Google, the king of everything digital. The company is using a printed direct mail piece to drive awareness of its electronic advertising options for small businesses. Kelly Mallozzi, who blogs at Printing Impressions, recently pointed to the printed offer she received from Google as proof that print is alive and well, and how printers should use it as an anecdote during the selling process.
This is no surprise to many of us in the printing community. We know it’s not only brick-and-mortar companies that depend on paper and ink to acquire new customers. In fact, at IWCO Direct, we have a few customers who only reside in the digital world that use direct mail very effectively in acquiring new customers.
There are a number of reasons for their success. In some respects, the enormous amount of consumer data they have at their fingertips allows online businesses to send highly relevant offers. We also know, as the Epsilon Channel Preference Study indicates, direct mail is the most preferred channel for brand communications. With email fatigue becoming a daily burden, direct mail cuts through the clutter. A full 50% of U.S. consumers said they pay more attention to postal mail than email. Finally, marketers must realize there will always be a segment of their audience that is more comfortable receiving personal information in a sealed envelope than through an online channel.
So don’t think Google is old fashioned for using direct mail to build awareness and acquire new customers. Like almost everything they do, they’re on the cutting edge.
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