August 12, 2020

Direct Mail Is Having a Moment — Seize It

By Julie Poast
Categories

COVID-19 has caused an undeniable disruption throughout the marketplace, making it necessary for many businesses to pivot their marketing strategies. Of course, going silent isn’t an option if the goal is to remain part of everyday purchase decisions.

So how can marketers achieve top-of-mind awareness? The mailbox offers an ideal path to cut through the clutter and gain the undivided attention of valuable customers and household decision-makers. With consumers stuck at home over the past few months due to the pandemic, direct mail is enjoying its time in the spotlight. According to an April 2020 Valassis study, 30% of consumers are perusing direct mail ads for deals more now than they were before.

Now is a great time to seize the opportunity and invest in your direct mail marketing strategy. That does not mean you have to cut out all other marketing channels — direct mail can easily complement media across the board. If the increased consumer interest and receptivity aren’t enough, here are three more reasons to embrace direct mail as part of your post-pandemic marketing plan:

1. It’s an unsaturated environment.

The mailbox isn’t as noisy as the email inbox or the social media feed. That’s the beauty of direct mail marketing: There’s less competition for people’s attention, and your audience is open to receiving it. Due to the ongoing pandemic, 37% of consumers say they’re more excited to receive their mail each day.

There’s something to be said for getting a piece of mail. It’s tactile, which can leave a lasting impression on the recipient that strengthens recall and brand awareness. With the right message, you have a tremendous opportunity to engage people with a mailer — now or in the future.

2. It’s able to plug in anywhere.

Every household checks the mail. People might not read everything they receive, but they certainly do sort through it. According to the 2020 Valassis Consumer Intel Report, more than 75% of consumers check printed circulars to compare prices. As social distancing efforts continue, the mailbox is — more than ever — a valuable and versatile source of information.

Direct mail integrates seamlessly with other marketing tactics, and it can be an invaluable partner as part of an omnichannel marketing strategy. Let’s say you send out a mailer and then follow up with recipients via an email reminder. From there, maybe you decide to keep things going with a display ad and a little retargeting. Each layer of this approach amplifies an overall marketing campaign and can drive more consumers to your business.

Direct mail offers a great way to augment a digital ad campaign or be the hero, with emails or display advertising directing attention to a special message delivered to physical mailboxes. No matter the situation, a direct mail marketing strategy can integrate with and amplify your current campaign.

3. Its ROI is swift and substantial.

Some people assume direct mail campaigns have long lead times, but building a campaign doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. The right collaborator can help develop an efficient, affordable, and customized mail strategy.

With the right partner, you can plan, create, and implement a direct mail marketing strategy in just a few short weeks. Even if you didn’t have a direct mail campaign in your plans at the start of 2020, you can get one up and running in time to boost your second half.

There’s no need to break the bank, either. You might think direct mail is an expensive marketing channel, but you can manage direct mail marketing costs quite a bit with a few minor adjustments. For example, using a vendor that leverages economies of scale for production and distribution can save substantial money on a campaign. With the right partner, there are ways to customize messages to be more affordable.

As with any other modern marketing channel, direct mail allows for personalization — and we’re not just talking about adding a customer’s name. With a flexible partner and good data, you can send certain messages to specific neighborhoods or households based on demographics or purchase behavior. Layering in lifestyles, behaviors, hobbies, and interests to further segment an audience enables the creation of truly personalized direct mail marketing campaigns or offers specific to each subset of your customer base.

Now Is the Time

Emails, display ads, and mobile messaging can alert consumers to products currently in stock, but direct mail tends to have a different vibe than digital messaging.

With direct mail, you’re putting useful and tangible information in the hands of relevant households and buyers. It can still encourage people to shop — particularly as consumers make purchases in different ways amid COVID-19 and beyond.

Direct mail has a reliable place in any marketing plan. But during this opportunity to reset and refresh your marketing strategy, direct mail is the option you shouldn’t ignore. For more insights on how to boost your direct mail impact, download our infographic, “Raise Response + ROI in a Big Way With Save Direct Mail.”

Julie Poast is a product marketing director at Valassis, focusing on how direct mail can bring value to both clients and consumers. She has over 20 years of Marketing experience specializing in many aspects of marketing, from brand management and new product development to content marketing, promotion, and lead generation.

 

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