Including Direct Mail in your Omnichannel Marketing Approach
I am a senior at the University of Cincinnati and will be graduating in December from the Carl H. Lindner Business College with a major in Marketing and a double minor in Psychology and Business Analytics. Throughout my college career, I’ve sat in a wide variety of marketing courses and they all stress to answer the same question: How do I reach my consumers? Consumers are everywhere, therefore your brand needs to be everywhere too. But how can we be everywhere? The answer is Omnichannel marketing.
What is Omnichannel marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is the idea of reaching your consumers where-ever they may be across multiple channels to provide them with a seamless shopping experience from first exposure to building and maintaining a satisfying relationship post purchase.
The idea is simple: every customer is different. They each want to access products and services in a different way. Your goal as a brand is to be available in all the different ways they may want to receive your brand. This process can include a variety of channels like email, social, online, or instore. One channel often overlooked by marketers in this hyper-digital world is direct mail.
What is Direct Mail?
Direct mail is exactly what is sounds like; reaching your customers and potential customers through postal mail. Yes, I mean receiving a postcard that contains a coupon or simply just more information about who you are and what you’re selling. You may think direct mail and its effectiveness is fading, but it is not. In a recent Forbes article, Steven Pulcinella, director of Digital Marketing at ProspectsPLUS!, shared that direct mail is the top channel for direct response, driving a 4.4% response rate, while email only receives a .12%. Therefore, if you want to have more brand engagement, direct mail should be integrated into your marketing strategy.
Direct mail is one of the few, if not only, ways to tangibly reach others with your product offering. Being able to touch and physically have something to hold will drive a greater recall rate. Your brand will be easier to remember because of that higher engagement.
Here at NaviStone, we invented a way for businesses to send relevant direct mail to website visitors while maintaining the anonymity of those visitors to all parties. This is the newest digital channel to emerge in years!
Personal Impact of Direct Mail
Personally, I love receiving direct mail. Who doesn’t? Not only do I check the mail everyday but when I get mail, I look through it and sort it immediately. What looks appealing, what doesn’t? Is there anything that catches my eye? Finally, something that is not a bill catches my eye. It has my name on it, not just “Current Resident”. It’s for me! It’s from a company I know and love purchasing from. It's personalized with my product preferences. On this piece of mail is a coupon that I can access with a code. I hadn’t thought about ordering from them, but now that I have a coupon, I want to. So just like that, I’m making a purchase. Now I look forward to it arriving, so I can have another “mail call.”
This experience would not have happened through an email. I do receive emails from retailers, but they get lost in my never-ending inbox. When I check my email, I never set enough time to look through all my email and end up skimming or not even opening most of them. If I were to open and read the email and be convinced to visit the website or view products and offering on my phone, I would never make it there. The power of my phone causes me to forget what I am doing. I want to go look at the pictures I’ve taken, cool. Let me close out of Safari and then oh wait what am I looking at, as Instagram opens I begin to scroll. This is a sad but an ever-true story for many.
Omnichannel Marketing Includes Direct Mail
Omnichannel marketing is a recipe for business success. It allows potential customers to be reached across multiple channels. However, for omnichannel marketing to succeed, direct mail must reign. Here are some key points to remember:
- Potential customers exist everywhere, therefore your band should exist everywhere too
- Direct mail is one of the few ways to tangibly reach your customers
- The power of digital can serve as a distraction when trying to convert viewers into buyers
So, you’ve decided direct mail should be a part of your omnichannel mix, now what?
- Use direct mail to drive customers to other channels in your omnichannel mix like your website, email, social, etc.
- Personalize your direct mail
- Send to customers that have showed interest in the product or service prior as they are more likely to convert
Bottom line: Direct mail reigns even in a hyper-digital world