15 min to read

Reasons Why Direct Mail Marketing is Still Highly Effective (if strategically integrated with digital)

This might seem weird to our usual readers, as our team focuses on digital marketing strategy. But, sometimes, and under the right briefing, we've used direct mail to complete the sales funnel, marketing funnel, and even CRM initiatives. Codedesign has a proprietary methodology that integrates at times with physical initiatives (and direct mail is one of them)

Understanding the Basics A. Defining Digital Marketing B. Defining Direct Mail Marketing

Digital marketing leverages digital channels such as social media, email, search engines, and websites to connect with potential customers. Imagine you're running a bakery. With digital marketing, you might use Instagram to post mouthwatering photos of your pastries, email newsletters to share exclusive discounts with your subscribers, or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make sure your website shows up when someone Googles "bakery near me."

One famous example of digital marketing is the "Share a Coke" campaign by Coca-Cola. They personalized their product by adding common names on their bottles and cans, encouraging people to 'Share a Coke' with their friends. This campaign was promoted heavily on digital channels and created a huge buzz on social media, with people sharing images of their personalized drinks.

On the other hand, direct mail marketing is traditional marketing that involves sending promotional materials via postal mail. This could be anything from a catalog showcasing your bakery's holiday specials to a postcard offering a discount on a customer's birthday.

For example, IKEA is known for its annual catalog, which is a form of direct mail. Despite the digital age, many people look forward to yearly flipping through the IKEA catalog. It's a tactile, engaging way for IKEA to showcase their new products and inspire customers with their room setups.

So, in essence, digital marketing is all about using online channels to promote your brand, while direct mail marketing is about reaching customers in the physical world through postal mail. Both have their strengths, and when used together, they can create a well-rounded marketing strategy that covers all bases.

A. A few tips on Digital Marketing

We are suspects, but digital marketing and why it's such a game changer.

1 - Reach: With digital marketing, you can reach people halfway worldwide while sitting in your pajamas at home. Imagine you're a small pottery business in Oregon. You can sell your handcrafted mugs to a coffee lover in Australia through your website. That's the power of digital reach!

2- Targeting: This one's a biggie. Say, you're a pet store owner. With digital marketing, you can target your ads to people who've searched for "best dog food" or have liked several dog-related pages. You're not wasting resources advertising to cat owners or people who don't have pets. Remember how Netflix recommended "Stranger Things" to people who loved supernatural and sci-fi shows? That's targeted marketing at its finest.

3- Cost Effectiveness: It's a myth that you need big bucks to run a successful digital marketing campaign. With just a small budget, you can set up a Google AdWords campaign or promote your posts on Facebook. For example, the brand Daniel Wellington grew from a small start-up to a global phenomenon largely through low-cost Instagram marketing.

4 - Real-time Results: With traditional marketing, you put out an ad and then wait and hope it does well. In digital marketing, you can monitor your campaign in real-time. If that post about your new pizza flavor gets lots of likes and shares, you can boost it to reach even more people.

5 - Flexibility: You can pivot immediately if something's not working. If your followers aren't responding to your skincare tips, but are loving your makeup tutorials, you can quickly adjust your content strategy. The beauty brand Glossier is a great example of this. They continuously engage with their community, listen to their feedback and adjust their products and content accordingly.

6 - Engagement: Digital marketing allows for two-way communication. When your customers comment on your posts, share your content or review your products, you can respond directly to them. This builds relationships and trust. The shoe company Zappos is famous for their fantastic customer service on social media, often responding to comments and queries in a fun, personal manner.

B. A few tips on Direct Mail Marketing

With the advent of digital marketing, many believe that traditional methods, such as direct mail, have become outdated and ineffective in today's highly competitive market. But surprisingly, studies have consistently shown that direct mail is still successful and efficient form of advertising available to businesses (especially if integrated with a digital strategy). From higher response rates than emails or online advertisements to be more cost-effective than other forms of outreach - there are countless reasons why utilizing direct mail can be an advantageous choice for any company looking to expand its reach. Learn why this age-old method may be your business's key to success.

1. Targeted

Direct mail marketing has changed the game for businesses looking to get their message out to the right people. You no longer need to advertise to the masses and hope that the right people will find your message. Direct mail campaigns can be tailored to any target audience using the Franking Machine from FP Mailing Solutions. You can use things such as age, gender, and geographic location to ensure your message gets through to the right people. This precision marketing strategy ensures that the people who receive your message will most likely be interested in what you offer and, therefore, more likely to be converted into valued customers.

2. Tangibility

In a world where digital media is king, there's something to be said for the power of tangibility. Direct mail marketing materials give customers a physical representation of the message you're trying to convey. And that physicality can make a big difference. Rather than being lost in a sea of email inboxes, direct mail pieces stand out. Recipients can hold them in their hands and interact with them in a way that's just not possible with digital messages.

Plus, there's something satisfying about hanging up a postcard or brochure on the fridge or bulletin board, where it can be seen and referred to repeatedly. By going the direct mail route, you're creating a more meaningful connection with your audience.

3. Personalization

In the fast-paced world of marketing, personalization has become crucial. With direct mail marketing, you can tailor your message to each recipient based on their preferences and behavior. This level of customization adds a human touch and makes the recipient feel appreciated, which can significantly increase the odds of conversion.

By taking the time to personalize your direct mail messages, you can show your audience that you care about their needs and interests. Customers are much more likely to respond positively to marketing messages that feel relevant and helpful to them.

4. High Response Rates

This is supported by data from the Data & Marketing Association, which reported a 9% response rate for direct mail-to-house lists in 2020, compared to just 0.5% for email marketing. For every 100 direct mail pieces sent to a targeted audience, nine people are likely to respond and take action. This is significantly higher than the response rate for other marketing channels, making direct mail a highly effective way to reach and engage with customers.

The high response rate can be attributed to the tangible nature of direct mail, which captures recipients' attention and makes it more likely that they will read and respond to the message. Additionally, direct mail can be personalized and targeted, increasing the likelihood of a response. 

5. Highly Measurable

Measuring the response rate involves tracking the responses received, such as phone calls, website visits, or orders placed, in response to a direct mail campaign. The conversion rate is the percentage of reactions that result in a desired action, such as a purchase or signing up for a service. ROI, or return on investment, is the amount of revenue generated by the campaign divided by the cost of the campaign.

By tracking these metrics, businesses can determine the effectiveness of their direct mail campaigns and make changes to improve performance in future campaigns. For example, if a campaign has a low response rate, a business may adjust its messaging or target a different audience to increase engagement.

6. Less Competition

It's no secret that the competition is fierce in the online world. Fortunately, direct mail marketing is a distinct and effective alternative. With less competition from other advertisers vying for the recipient's attention, your message will likely be noticed, read, and acted upon. In fact, studies have shown that the response rate for direct mail is much higher than that of email or social media. So if you want to increase the chances of conversion for your marketing efforts, consider adding direct mail to your strategy.

Direct mail is an effective and powerful way to reach potential customers. With its personalized touch, high response rate, and measurability, it can be a valuable tool in any business looking to maximize its marketing efforts. So, consider investing in direct mail to ensure your message gets noticed and acted upon.

Ok! These look like conflicting natures; how do we make them compatible?

The Importance of Integrated Marketing A. Benefits of Combining Digital and Direct Mail B. Understanding the Customer Journey

First, integrated marketing is all about providing a seamless and consistent customer experience across all marketing channels. Think of it as your brand throwing a party - regardless of whether your customers enter through the front door (your website), the back door (social media), or even a window (direct mail), they should all walk into the same great party.

Now, why should we mix digital and direct mail? Here's why:

 - Double Whammy Effect: When your customers see your brand online and in their mailbox, it's a double reminder that you exist and have something great to offer. For instance, imagine you're a fashion brand that's launching a new line. You send a postcard with a sneak peek and a personalized QR code. The recipient scans the code, lands on your website, and sees the full range. It's a one-two punch that's hard to ignore.

 - Wider Reach: Not all your customers are on social media or regularly check their email, and not all customers pay attention to their physical mail. By using both, you're increasing your chances of getting seen.

 - Increased Trust: There's something about holding a physical piece of mail that feels more personal and trustworthy. It's like the difference between getting a text and a handwritten note. Integrating this trust with your digital strategy can significantly boost your credibility.

As for the customer journey, imagine it as a road trip your customers take from knowing nothing about your brand (Awareness) to becoming your biggest fans (Advocacy). Along the way, they stop at Interest, Consideration, Purchase, and Loyalty.

Let's use one of our clients as an example (without disclosing a lot of cause of confidentiality contracts), let's say you're a skincare brand. A potential customer sees your ad on Instagram (Awareness), likes what they see, and follows you (Interest). They start seeing your skincare educational posts and download your free ebook (Consideration).

Then they receive a direct mail piece with samples of your product (this could be where digital and direct mail integrate). They love the samples and purchase a full-size product (Purchase). They love the product, become repeat customers (Loyalty), and start recommending you to their friends (Advocacy).

Every touchpoint, whether digital or direct mail, plays a crucial role in this journey. The magic happens when all these channels work together seamlessly, guiding your customer along this journey.

A company that does this well is Amazon. They send you personalized product recommendations based on your browsing history (digital), then follow up with a direct mail catalog for their high-ticket items during the holiday season. They understand their customer journey and use digital and direct mail marketing to guide them through it.

So, in a nutshell, combining digital and direct mail and understanding the customer journey isn't just a good-to-have. It's like having a GPS that guides your customer straight to your brand!

Strategies for Integration A. Data-Driven Marketing: Merging Online and Offline Data B. Creating Consistent Messaging Across Channels C. Leveraging Direct Mail to Drive Digital Engagement D. Using Digital Platforms to Enhance Direct Mail Campaigns

Data-Driven Marketing: Merging Online and Offline Data

In simple terms, data-driven marketing is like being a detective for your business. You're collecting clues about your customers' behavior from both online and offline sources. For example, you might track online data, like what products your customers view on your website and offline data, such as in-store purchases. Combining these gives you a fuller picture of your customer's behavior.

A clothing store, for instance, might notice that a customer often browses dresses online but buys jeans in-store. This insight could lead to a targeted campaign where they send this customer a direct mail piece featuring their new jeans, with a QR code that links to their online dress catalog.

Creating Consistent Messaging Across Channels

Consistent messaging is like having a favorite band. No matter what album you listen to, you recognize it's them. Similarly, whether your customer sees your brand on Instagram, in their email, or in their mailbox, they should instantly recognize it's you.

Apple, for example, is a master of consistent messaging. Whether you're looking at an Apple ad in a magazine or watching a product unveiling video online, their clean, minimalistic style and their "Think Different" ethos shine through.

Leveraging Direct Mail to Drive Digital Engagement

This strategy is like inviting someone to a party (your digital platform) via a handwritten note (direct mail). Something personal about receiving physical mail makes the invitation harder to resist.

A fitness center could send a direct mail piece to residents offering a free one-week pass with a QR code that leads to an online sign-up form. The recipient gets a tangible reminder of the offer and an easy way to take action digitally.

Using Digital Platforms to Enhance Direct Mail Campaigns

This is the flip side of the previous point. It's like giving your party guests (digital audience) a keepsake (direct mail) to remember the event.

A cosmetics brand could use its digital platform (like email or social media) to ask its customers if they want to receive free new product samples. Interested customers could provide their mailing addresses, and the brand could send personalized direct mail with samples.

Combining these strategies, businesses can create an integrated marketing campaign that leverages the strengths of both digital and direct mail. It's like having a well-rehearsed orchestra, where each instrument plays its part to create a harmonious symphony.

Tactical Execution A. Incorporating QR Codes and Personalized URLs in Direct Mail B. Retargeting Direct Mail Recipients Online C. Using Social Media for Follow-Up Engagement D. Email Marketing and Direct Mail Integration

Let's break down some ideas step by step.

Incorporating QR Codes and Personalized URLs in Direct Mail

This is like putting a secret door in your direct mail that leads straight to your online world. Let's say you're a bookstore. You could send a direct mail piece announcing your new summer reads, with a QR code that leads to a video of authors discussing their books. Or, you could include a personalized URL (PURL) that takes each customer to a webpage showing book recommendations based on their past purchases.

Retargeting Direct Mail Recipients Online

Retargeting is a bit like seeing someone at a party (receiving your direct mail), then bumping into them in the supermarket a few days later (seeing your online ad). It's a surprise, but a pleasant one.

Suppose you're a furniture store. You send a direct mail catalog with your latest collection. Then, you retarget those recipients with online ads showing the pieces they've checked out in your catalog. It's a great way to remind them of what they liked and nudge them towards a purchase.

Using Social Media for Follow-Up Engagement

Social media can work as a brilliant follow-up to your direct mail. Think of it as continuing the conversation that started with your direct mail piece.

For example, you're a restaurant that's sent out direct mail coupons. You can post on social media asking recipients to share a photo of the dish they got with the coupon. It's fun to engage your customers and get user-generated content.

Email Marketing and Direct Mail Integration

This is about giving your message the best chance to be seen. You send an email announcing your summer sale, and follow it up with a direct mail piece featuring some sale items.

A clothing brand, for instance, could send an email announcing a sale, followed by a direct mail piece that includes a personalized style lookbook featuring items on sale. It's like a one-two punch that maximizes the chance of your message being noticed.

These tactics are about making the most of each channel's strengths. Like a well-cooked meal, each ingredient enhances the others, and together, they create a feast that leaves your customers coming back for more.

Measuring Success A. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Integrated Campaigns B. Tools for Tracking Cross-Channel Engagement C. Adjusting Strategies Based on Campaign Performance

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Integrated Campaigns

KPIs are like the vital signs for your campaign. They tell you if it's healthy, needs a bit of a boost, or requires a complete overhaul. In an integrated campaign, you're looking at KPIs across channels.

For example, if you're running a campaign that integrates email and direct mail, you might track email open rates and click-through rates, along with direct mail response rates. Suppose you're a fitness center offering a discount on memberships. If you're getting lots of email opens but not many direct mail responses, you might need to tweak your direct mail design or offer.

Tools for Tracking Cross-Channel Engagement

There are plenty of tools out there that can help you track how your customers interact with your brand across different channels. It's like having a private investigator tailing your customers (in a non-creepy way, of course!).

For instance, Google Analytics can help you track website traffic and conversions from different sources, including direct mail if you've used PURLs or QR codes. A CRM platform can help you track interactions across email, social media, and direct mail.

For example, a beauty brand could use these tools to see a customer's journey from receiving a direct mail sample, to visiting the website via the PURL, to finally making a purchase.

Adjusting Strategies Based on Campaign Performance

This is all about being agile and learning from your performance. Let's say you're a restaurant and you've sent out direct mail coupons and also promoted the offer on social media. If you notice that younger customers are mostly using the digital version of the coupon while older customers prefer the physical one, you might decide to segment your audience and tailor your future campaigns accordingly.

Remember, measuring success isn't just about patting yourself on the back when things go well. It's about learning, iterating, and continuously improving. It's like being a scientist for your own business - you come up with hypotheses, test them, analyze the results, and use those insights to come up with even better hypotheses for your next experiment.

Case Studies and Best Practices A. Successful Examples of Integrated Marketing Campaigns B. Lessons Learned and Key Takeaways

IVF "The Baby is coming" Campaign: This campaign is like the rockstar of Codedesign. Our IVF client started to send a direct email document to all the leads that subscribed to a treatment plan in IVF. The paper document had all the steps for motherhood and was a huge heat among patients (getting a 97% approval rate). 

Lessons Learned and Key Takeaways

1. Consistency is Key: This campaign had a consistent message and feel across all channels. It's like meeting someone who's genuine and authentic - you're more likely to trust them and want to engage with them.

2. Engage Your Audience: These campaigns find ways to involve their audience. Whether sharing a simple document, people felt part of the process. It's like being at a party where you're not just sitting around, but participating.

3. Leverage the Strengths of Each Channel: We used the physicality to engage people in the real world, and used digital for customization. We used digital for its interactivity. It's about using each channel for what it does best, like a football team where each player has a specific role.

4. Be Ready to Adapt: Pay attention to what's working and be ready to change things up. If something's not working, don't be afraid to tweak it or try something new. Remember, it's a big, diverse playing field out there, so don't get stuck doing the same old drills.

When done right, integrated marketing campaigns can be a powerhouse strategy. It's all about creating a seamless experience for your customers, engaging them in different ways, and always being ready to learn and adapt.

Future Trends A. The Role of Technology in Integrated Marketing B. Predictions for Direct Mail and Digital Marketing Integration

The Role of Technology in Integrated Marketing

The future of integrated marketing is like a sci-fi movie, and technology is the star. We're talking about artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data, augmented reality (AR), and more.

Take AI and machine learning. They're like your smart assistant who knows your customers inside out. They can help you personalize your marketing at a scale that's just not possible manually. Imagine a clothing brand that sends you direct mail pieces featuring clothes in your size, in colors you often wear, and even styled to match your past purchases.

And then there's AR, which can make your marketing truly immersive. Picture this: you receive a direct mail piece from a furniture store with a QR code. You scan the code, which opens up an AR experience on your phone where you can see how that couch would look in your living room!

Predictions for Direct Mail and Digital Marketing Integration

In the future, direct mail and digital marketing will be like two peas in a pod. They'll work even more closely together, and the lines between them might even blur.

One prediction is that direct mail will become more digital-like. Think direct mail pieces with embedded digital chips, like a postcard that plays a video when you open it. Or mail pieces that you can "like" or "share" somehow, bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds.

On the other hand, digital marketing might become more tangible and physical. We already see this with physical products linked to digital content (think of a toy with an online game).

Overall, the future of integrated marketing is exciting, with technology opening up many possibilities. It's like we're on a thrilling journey and just getting a glimpse of the amazing sights to come. Remember, as a marketer, it's important to watch these trends and be ready to adapt and innovate. Who knows, you might be the one to create the next big trend in integrated marketing!

Codedesign is a Data-Driven Marketing Agency.

As experts in digital marketing, we know that we must be up to date with all the information and tactics to provide the best service to our clients. Technology has come to make our lives easier. In the same way, we, as an agency, seek to make your job easier by taking care of all digital marketing duties so your business can reach its most significant potential.

Data and analytics are our compasses to make wiser decisions within your niche, which we combine with our knowledge and expertise in digital marketing management to boost your results. If you want to know more about data or more advice on the direction of your business online, contact us at this time.

About Bruno Gavino

Bruno Gavino is the CEO and partner of Codedesign, a digital marketing agency with a strong international presence. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Boston, Singapore, and Manchester (UK) Codedesign has been recognized as one of the top interactive agencies and eCommerce agencies. Awarded Top B2B Company in Europe and Top B2C company in retail, Codedesign aims to foster personal relationships with clients and create a positive work environment for its team.  

He emphasizes the need for digital agencies to focus on data optimization and performance to meet the increasingly results-driven demands of clients. His experience in digital marketing, combined with a unique background that includes engineering and data, contributes to his effective and multifaceted leadership style.

Follow Bruno Gavino on Linkedin

About Codedesign

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency with a strong multicultural and international presence, offering expert services in digital marketing. Our digital agency in Lisbon, Boston, and Manchester enables us to provide market-ready strategies that suit a wide range of clients across the globe (both B2B and B2C). We specialize in creating impactful online experiences, focusing on making your digital presence strong and efficient. Our approach is straightforward and effective, ensuring that every client receives a personalized service that truly meets their needs.

Our digital agency is committed to using the latest data and technology to help your business stand out. Whether you're looking to increase your online visibility, connect better with your audience, get more leads, or grow your online sales. For more information, read our Digital Strategy Blog or to start your journey with us, please feel free to contact us.

CodeDesign is leading:
- Digital Agency
- Digital Marketing Agency
- Digital Ecommerce Agency
- Amazon Marketing Agency

Add comment