Who Says Direct Mail is Dead
That’s an easy one. Those who say direct mail is dead is anyone that has never used it. Or, only used it once and failed. Or, those who are under 35 years old would be my guess.
Well, direct mail is at a place in time where it is the ONLY way to make sure your message gets to the intended target. With a 95% plus open rate, direct mail is a solid winner for getting your message to your audience.
The younger generation can’t see the logic of spending literally thousands of dollars designing, printing, and mailing mail pieces to a list. It just doesn’t compute.
What these, and those that tried it once or twice and called it a failure obviously don’t know what direct response marketers do. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that they didn’t:
- Design the direct mail piece with attraction built into it
- Cleanse their list before sending
- Segment their list before sending
- A/B split test small batches to find the control
- Measure the outcome (ROI)
That’s why it doesn’t work for them. They do a sh** job and expect miracles. So, they stick to digital ads, social media posts, and who knows what else praying to convert suspects into prospects into leads into customers. That’s a whole lotta work.
Properly executed, the return on investment can be anywhere from 4 to 30 or 40 to one. For every dollar spent on direct mail, marketers can expect a positive ROI every single time. If it’s done right as I said.
Even Neil Patel is a firm believer in direct mail. As evidenced in his article on the subject found here lets us know that direct mail median return is 29% compared to social media which is 30% (just 1%point), paid search at 23%, and online display at a measly 16%.
Now, I am not recommending you abandon your digital marketing all for the sake of direct mail. What I am suggesting you combine it with a digital marketing campaign, pushing offline traffic online, multiple channels like Instagram ads, Facebook and Google paid ads, blogging, and others.
The money’s in the list is a comment uttered by every marketing guru and wanna-be guru. It’s true, however, if your list has been cleansed, segmented and each one on the list correlates with ten to fifteen common factors of the audience. Otherwise, you are shooting in the dark.
Here are some tips to “get it right the first time” if you will:
- Clean the list is primary
- Segment the list as well as possible
- Create a killer, brand-dead offer that simply cannot be refused
- Produce an outstanding and compelling call to action
- Include well-written copy and graphics
- Test, test, test, test until you find a super-responding control
- Measure your results every way possible
While amateurs spend their time and money on design, it’s not anywhere near as important as the list. It’s the same thing with copy. Of course, it should be good copy, presented well, but with a little training, you can write your own.
There seems to be a common rule of importance when it comes to direct mail. As much as 40% of the essence for success is awarded to the list. Another 40% attributed to the compelling offer, and the remaining 20% goes to design and copy. As many copywriters that we hire at eLaunchers, you’d think that it would weigh in much higher, but averages are averages.
Want to know what’s equally as important as the list? Yep, it’s what makes up the list, the target audience. Know your audience better than they do. Don’t just use your beliefs as to their wants and needs, go deeper. Dan Kennedy uses a great story about a man and his wife having a discussion in the middle of the night over the wife’s hearing loss problem.
What the manufacturers have clung to for the last 50 years is that people should buy hearing aids so they can hear the birds chirping once again. Or, so they can once again go out with friends and not be embarrassed having to say “what did she say” every fifteen seconds.
No, the REAL pain point is that the person fears their children rushing them off to a nursing home with dementia because crackpot science is linking dementia to hearing loss (of that I am not at all sure is correct). That’s the pain that should be targeted with messaging, not the birds
One prominent SNAFU marketers fall into is not using professional, relatable design and proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Nothing takes the shine off of an otherwise sound marketing asset than shoddy work pulling it all together.
We’ll take another poke at direct mail, later on, this summer, so don’t despair if you don’t have enough surety on what all’s involved. We’ll cover follow up, multi-step processes, and more.
Until then, Cheers!
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