When working on a marketing plan or strategy, you may hear these questions: “Do we really need to include direct mail?” or “Can we scale back on direct mail?” And while the response should be that, yes, we definitely want to include direct mail in the customer journey, it should also be noted that including direct mail in the marketing plan will actively enhance the customer experience.
Even in this digital age, many savvy marketers are incorporating direct mail in their multichannel marketing strategies. Why? Research shows 64% of people visit a website as a result of receiving direct mail, and 54% of people have engaged with social media after receiving a direct mail piece. As Nora Fulner points out in an article on how direct mail helps at every stage of the buyer’s journey, direct mail doesn’t feel as pushy or invasive as digital marketing. The average person receives 107 emails and sees 63 display ads every day—and they only receive two pieces of mail. As a result, direct mail helps you stand out from the crowd and away from the digital noise.
Adding Direct Mail in a Digital Age
In a time when it’s ‘all things digital,’ something I find interesting is that direct mail has a dimension of “shareability’ and is ‘collectible.’ This means it can be easily shared with friends, family, colleagues, or saved for reference at a later time. Unlike emails or digital media where passing along or saving for later can pose a challenge, with direct mail, it’s quite the opposite—people hold on to a memorable direct mail piece and often reference it many times throughout their decision-making journey.
This is not to say digital marketing shouldn’t be considered; it’s just as important to the customer journey as direct mail. For many brands, adding direct mail to digital and social advertising is an effective way to drive online and in-store sales. Some stores still rely on catalogs or brochures to inspire and drive consumers to consider purchasing merchandise. An article from the New York Times references how a clothing store uses catalogs to inspire and engage with their consumers.
Incorporating Direct Mail into the Customer Journey
We know adding direct mail is important, and adding it to the customer journey will help increase engagement and response. So what’s next? There are distinct stages of the journey where direct mail can be incorporated: Awareness, Considerations, Decision, and Post Decision. Each stage plays an important part in the customer experience and can also influence customer loyalty. We want to be sure we’re delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right consumer. Research indicates 53% of buyers feel information relevant to their needs has a positive impact on their purchasing decisions.
What Impact Can Adding Direct Mail Have on ROI?
Homebase, an online UK Home and Gardening retailer, put direct mail to the test and saw online customers spending 20% more on average. Adding direct mail to any marketing mix will directly improve the customer journey and impact customer loyalty and retention. It should be a key consideration in any successful direct marketing strategy.
Need help incorporating direct mail into the customer journey or ensuring your marketing campaigns keep customers on the right path? Let the IWCO Direct marketing services team be your guide. Contact me here.
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