2020 is a world like never before, and for many businesses - we pray never again. With a new norm of uncertainty, mixed with the ongoing struggle to 'keep the doors open', does the word 'essential' have jurisdiction when it comes to the marketing of our own brand?
The answer is - thankfully, an uncontested NO. COVID may have replaced Miley Cyrus as the most searched phrase on Google, but marketers are digger deeper than ever to engage and resonate with their customers in this very serious of times. While many have opted for the 'go-to' digital route, we're pleased to also see an increase in mail as an effective channel for communication.
So why is now the time to include this 'veteran' of direct marketing into your mix? This two-part article will look at the why followed by the how to of direct mail. Don't be put off by the generation gap any longer. It's time to dust off this old favourite in a year when visiting the letterbox is almost as coveted as putting out the rubbish bins.
What is Direct Mail?
Often confused with the clump of supermarket catalogues crammed in your letterbox, imagine direct mail as the families' sophisticated older sibling. More focused and personal, its two most distinguishing characteristics are being delivered by good old Australia Post and addressing you by name - meaning it not only ends up in the right hands but, according to Australia Post, it has a 99% certainty of being opened.
Why Millennials love Direct Mail
For all the marketers out there nodding, while silently thinking mail just isn't the right channel for their audience - let me tell you why you're wrong. Plain and simple - we take notice and remember what we do not regularly experience.
For Millennials, even Gen Y, the days when everything from bills to birthday cards arrived in the letterbox is now an urban myth, sadly replaced by hundreds of impersonal messages overloading our inbox. It's no wonder these generations respond so well to direct mail. According to an article published by Forbes, 77% of millennials 'pay attention to' and are more likely to 'read and show their mail to others' than any other generation - and why not - it's rare vintage chic.
What about the ROI on Direct Mail?
Conversion and ROI naturally depend on more than just the channel, but Neopost is confident that including direct mail into a campaign can boost results by a whopping 12%. It seems fair when you understand its brand recall is 31% higher than for digital channels - with the average lifespan of an email being just 2 seconds.
We also know, when it comes to magazines, catalogues, coupons or sensitive detailed communication, Australians prefer to receive it as physical mail. It seems we are more likely to keep and refer to the content again at a later date this way.
Things to consider when using Direct Mail?
With all the positive, why is direct mail usage gradually on the decline? Sadly, there are a few speed bumps for marketers - time to market, performance measurement metrics and the biggie - cost, which dramatically affects ROI.
While print costs have held, even fallen over the past 5 years, the same cannot be said for postage. Even with an intimate knowledge of the abundant postal discounts available, a standard sized letter or postcard won't give you much change out of a dollar. But don't be disheartened - there are still ways to reap the benefits of direct mail even in light of these considerations - which leads us into part two of this series - the how to of direct mail.
In a time when our laptop is the recommended platform for social engagement, consumers are understandably oversaturated by digital communication. Isolation has increased and changed our usage of social media, and who hasn't noticed their own inbox bulging with more offers and incentives than we can currently afford?
2020 will, without a doubt, be a difficult year. Businesses will focus on simply keeping people employed and the doors open - and that strategy must include the continuation of marketing to new and existing customers. Now, more than ever, our messages must be noticed and remembered.
With Australian's having received fewer pieces of personally addressed mail, it’s time to take the 'road less travelled'. Mail is not only something we experience less often but as studies have revealed it gives consumers the psychological benefits of feeling more valued and important - something we all need in these challenging and uncertain times.
Printcraft is a full service, Australia Post certified mail house, specialising in all aspects of direct mail marketing. If you would like to understand more about using mail as a platform for your communication needs, contact one of our experts now.