Direct Mail is Dead, Long Live Direct Mail!

As a digital marketing company who have been in business since the last century, (that makes us sound old) we often get faced with the accusation that DM is a hard to measure channel, or non-responsive and expensive or that “brands just don’t do that anymore” when in fact some of the most successful campaigns we’ve ever run are either multi-channel or just standalone direct mail!

tdp marketing - Direct Mail is Dead



So why the disconnect?  Brands continue to spend massively in digital and above the line channels but are struggling to get real cut-through or clearly measure their return on their investment. DM cuts through the clutter and gets directly in to the hand of the recipient in a creative and engaging way.

As media fragmentation accelerates with consumers taking ownership whether through Adblocking, opt-out’s or unsubscription requests, never before has channel integration been so critical – especially for brands that live digitally. Direct mail is the perfect vehicle of virtually all channels as part of their integrated campaigns. This growing customer choice is opening up new opportunities for mail as an online driver, over 50% of UK consumers will go to the web to find out more on receipt of a relevant piece of direct mail.

Obviously most clients have already got some pre-fixed assumptions or chosen routes to market that suit their practices, but the assumption that direct mail is dead – is plain wrong and while we’re defending its honour, here’s a few other doorstep marketing myths and misconceptions debunked.

Consumers no longer respond to direct mail – rubbish!

There’s a commonly held belief that direct mail is a thing of the past, before email and digital marketing changed the way people respond to promotions. The data doesn’t support this – in fact, our clients are seeing a better return on investment when compared to other, more costly advertising media. When you compare the average CPC price search, whether through Google’s various mediums or social, behavioural or re-targeting, DM wins hands down. Direct mail including design, print and delivery is often less than 50% or even 70% of clients expectations.As the much-coveted demographic of 18-24-year-olds has grown up with-and around digital tech, focusing exclusively on digital channels seems like the obvious strategy, but actually, Millennials are far more likely than those of us over 30 to read and engage with direct mail.

Mailing doesn’t offer trackable ROI - wrong!

The digital focused marketing generation doesn’t change the fact that consumers have to physically pick up your promotion from their doormat, meaning on average your brand is guaranteed at least 20 seconds of attention. Compare that with the left-swipe of an uninteresting subject line on an iPhone and its 19 seconds more than your client is used to receiving. Sure, some DM gets binned, but that’s the point of relevant data, but people just don’t leave post sitting by their door, very few ever unsubscribe and you can’t breach PECR with direct mail.

Direct mail still resonates with every age group, and it doesn’t just work (or work less than it once did), the response rates for direct mail remain high for all demographics. From video digital brochures on paper mailings, DM has come on a long way since the humble flyer, door drops are one of the few ways of advertising where you can’t be ignored and we even offer USB’s nested into flyers so that your digital brochures can be fused with DM and you get notification of when the device is inserted, how tranceable is that?  We can make your business look stunning with a high-definition video that you place directly into your target customers’ hands, this product is one of the most talked about DM devices we have ever produced and brands that have adopted it have reported stunning return on investment. We can even produce them, fully branded with your content nested on them digitally from just 25 units upwards so you don’t need especially deep pockets to adopt this new tech and from A7 to A5, it mails at normal 2nd class price.  Cheap delivery, gripping engagement.

You can’t guarantee response rates for door drops – bulls***!

Another reason door drops offer strong ROI is that technology has led to improvements in tracking and targeting. This hyper-targeting means your mailing is as relevant as possible to the recipient, which increases response rates. There’s been much discussion within the direct marketing industry as to what response rates clients can expect from door drops.

Some variables your brand message can control and some we can, whether a delay in distribution during excessive weather (be it heat, rain or snow, excessive weather slows distribution and can make it more difficult to protect your item from damage) we can also use our market intelligence to ensure you’re targeting the right demographic, and tailor the design and print for that audience. Other key factors, however, relate to the products and services you’re promoting. Is your offer competitive? Is there a high demand for it? How saturated is the market? Chances are we can offer some very in-depth market intelligence on your audience and TGI. Obviously there’s human nature factors that are out of everyone’s control and applies equally to both DM and digital; such as how the recipient is feeling when they pick up or open your comms. A good mood can be the difference between gaining a customer and ending up in the recycling or swiping left.

All these factors influence your response rate, depending on your product, the target demographic and the volume you distribute, 0.5%-1% can achieve a considerable return on investment. A good direct marketing partner will review all these variables and give you an indicative rate based on their experience, but compare this with most email campaigns (in fact our in-house emails also get between 5%-30% open rate) but engagement is key and the DM wins hands-down.

Half the DM leaflets won’t be delivered anyway – liar, liar!

While there are certainly renegade companies out there, the quality providers among us adhere to the highest standards of compliance, delivery and integrity. Importantly, we offer live tracking and data logging so you know the precise status of your campaign. We use satellite-tracked vans and track our distributors. In fact, you should always insist on your distribution being tracked – even if there’s a small charge, it safeguards your investment by ensuring your leaflets reach their intended destinations.

For these reasons, direct mail continues to be hugely effective for the marketers sending it and for the consumers who receive it. The allure of digital channels should not cause marketing brands to forget that direct mail remains critical to the overall media mix and can help drive cross-channel engagement.

So what’s the speed-read?

Thinking about a door drop campaign? Think about speaking to TDP Marketing first on 0844 561 1133 you might just be amazed at what we can achieve and if you need results-driven marketing, let’s start the discussion before your budget slips away in all the digital metrics and diminishing returns.

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