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Opinion: 5 reasons direct mail should be in your marketing mix

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In the digital age, where email inboxes are often overloaded and digital ads can be blocked, direct mail has proven to be a powerful component of direct marketing.

Direct mail involves sending physical marketing materials, such as postcards, brochures or boxes, directly to the homes or offices of targeted individuals.

This strategy offers a tangible, personal touch that digital methods often lack, making it an essential part of a comprehensive marketing mix.

Here’s why focusing on direct mail can greatly enhance your marketing strategy.

  1. Tangibility and permanence. One of the most significant advantages of direct mail is its physical form. Unlike digital messages that can be deleted or ignored, physical mail can be held, read and revisited. This tangibility gives direct mail a sense of permanence and value. For instance, a well-designed brochure or a compelling direct mail box can stay in a household for weeks, continuously reminding potential customers of your brand and offerings.
  2. High engagement rates. Direct mail boasts higher engagement rates compared to many digital marketing strategies. People are more likely to open a physical piece of mail than an email, particularly if it looks official or personally relevant. Furthermore, the act of physically interacting with the mail increases the likelihood of the message being remembered and acted upon. This makes direct mail an excellent tool for increasing brand awareness and driving conversions.
  3. Precision targeting. With direct mail, businesses can utilize data analytics and research to target specific demographics, geographical areas and consumer behaviors. This level of precision ensures that marketing efforts are not wasted on uninterested parties, but rather focused on prospects who are most likely to respond positively. Whether it’s targeting new homeowners with special offers or sending birthday coupons to existing customers, direct mail can be customized to enhance relevance and effectiveness.
  4. Less competition in the mailbox. As more companies focus on digital channels, the physical mailbox presents less competition and a unique opportunity to stand out. Receiving a well-crafted piece of direct mail can be a novel experience for many consumers, particularly younger generations who are not accustomed to personal mail. This reduced clutter in the physical mailbox can make direct mail pieces more impactful and memorable.
  5. Integration with digital strategies. Direct mail does not have to work in isolation; it can be a powerful part of an integrated marketing campaign. For example, a direct mail piece can include QR codes that link to digital content or special promotion pages, combining the tactile engagement of mail with the convenience of digital interaction. This multichannel approach can significantly enhance the consumer’s interaction with the brand, providing multiple touchpoints along the customer journey.

Case Study: Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
To illustrate the effectiveness of direct mail, we’ll share a campaign for the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau. The objective was to boost tourism by promoting Springfield as a prime destination for events.

The mailer included multiple components housed within a branded box sent out to prospective event planners. It consisted of the following items:

  • A guided audio cassette tape produced by National Audio and narrated by Springfield’s very own Jeff Houghton, providing an overview of all the unique aspects that make Springfield special.
  • Retro headphones and a cassette player for the recipient’s listening pleasure.
  • A large-scale fold-out map featuring illustrations of classic Springfield landmarks, sights and activities to explore.

After engaging with the audio tape and map, listeners were encouraged to scan a QR code that directed them to a landing page for additional information about planning their next event.

The direct mail campaign not only stood out in recipients’ mailboxes but also drove significant engagement.

As a direct result of this campaign, Springfield CVB received at least five new leads that they otherwise would not have captured through digital channels alone, translating into tangible business opportunities.

Incorporate direct mail into your marketing efforts and experience the tangible benefits it offers firsthand. By doing so, you’ll not only diversify your marketing channels but also create a lasting impression that digital methods alone cannot achieve.

Katie Jones is an account supervisor with Revel Advertising. She can be reached at
kjones@reveladvertising.com.

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