During the recent Financial Brand Forum, there was much discussion – including some disagreement – about speaker Gary Vaynerchuk’s views on how not to waste marketing dollars. His advice? Don’t do direct mail. image.works’ response: Direct mail is thriving!
We’ve found that direct mail continues to be one of the most effective advertising channels available – holding its own against trendier, tech-savvy options like email blasts, social media ads and more. Let’s start with some statistics:
- The Direct Marketing Association indicates the average response rate is 9 percent for direct mail house lists and 5 percent for prospect lists, a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing medium (themailshark.com).
- 75 percent of households surveyed say they usually read or scan at least some of their direct mail materials (datatargetingsolutions.com).
- 76 percent of consumers look to direct mail when making a purchase decision (marketingsherpa.com).
Now, here’s the nitty gritty from our perspective:
Direct mail delivers ROI. And it’s especially effective with cross-media marketing, which harnesses the power of both print and digital marketing pieces. This is best showcased with a case study from one of our clients. Argent Credit Union in Chesterfield, Virginia, uses our onboarding program to promote growth and retention of new members. We first send an eye-catching “welcome” postcard that features reminder email blasts and personal online landing pages for easy product sign-up. After 30 days, we send a second touch, promoting loans, and then we send a third postcard, featuring checking. Check out these results! Four months into the campaign, Argent saw 4,210% ROI, with $200,107 in new income.
Direct mail isn’t deleted. People everywhere receive far too many emails, and it’s so easy to simply hit delete without opening them. Plus, the senders must contend with firewalls. And people are less trusting of social media because everyone knows you can’t believe everything you see online. In contrast, a quality, creative direct mail piece requires the sender to invest time and money, which gives the piece greater value, and it engages both the sight and touch of the recipient. Some recipients may place it on the kitchen counter or hang it on the fridge, which means they see it again and again, and so do family members and visitors.
Direct mail is still being done. Take Capital One for example. They continue to be the top mailer among financial institutions (medialogic.com). It’s likely your competitors are sending direct mail to your target audience, so it’s critical that you get your marketing pieces into the hands – not just the screens – of your current and prospective account holders. Beyond advertising your loan or checking promotions, when it comes to effectively communicating the schedule and changes of a merger or core conversion, direct mail is the go-to, along with digital reinforcements. And if you’re wondering whether direct mail means anything to the Millennial generation, consider the United States Postal Service’s e-book “Still Relevant: A Look at How Millennials Respond to Direct Mail”:
- 84 percent of Millennials review their mail, and 64 percent say they prefer to search for useful information via direct mail pieces rather than emails.
- Almost half of Millennials disregard digital advertisements; only 15 percent disregard direct mail.
- 90 percent of Millennials believe direct mail ads are “reliable,” and 57 percent have completed purchases due to offers they received via direct mail.
So, despite Millennials’ well-known love for technology, direct mail marketing is still the best method for capturing their attention. Obviously digital advertising remains an important part of any marketing strategy and boasts numerous benefits, like immediate delivery, zero printing costs, etc. But research clearly indicates that digital advertising cannot – and should not – replace direct mail campaigns. They’re highly effective, and we have the numbers to prove it. To do more with your direct mail, contact an image.works account executive today.