Direct mail is a powerful marketing material or product that is mailed directly to the homes or offices of consumers or potential customers. It is an effective communication tool to build relationships with your audience which provides an in-person conversation to draw in the consumer. This marketing technique can be effective and persuasive and will allow you to engage with large audiences that are segmented down for optimum impact. Examples of direct mail include postcards, letters, coupons, brochures and more.
Direct mail is highly targeted and easily measurable with results being able to be collected to reveal the success of the campaign which provides critical information. As a simple and proven marketing technique, it has been proven that those who read direct mail require less cognitive focus to capture important information compared to digital advertisements. With a proven efficiency it has a higher response rate compared to email and pairs perfectly with digital marketing. With direct mail, you’re able to implement online elements into your mail such as QR codes, social media links and online offers to create a multichannel marketing technique.
Segmentation and targeted lists
Targeted lists are important to avoid sending direct mail to unqualified recipients and result in highly targeted campaigns achieving effective results. With great targeting options you are able to adjust certain variables depending on the audiences to always meet their individual needs and buying habits. Using demographics such as sex, age, income, parental status and location allow you to segment your direct mail to send relevant information that can result in new prospects or maintain consumer loyalty with existing customers. You can also add customisable factors to the product to better suit each demographic, making it relate to them more and therefore having a better result from the communication.
Concise and organised messaging
Organised messaging allows your target audience to gain an immediate benefit when receiving the direct mail. Overloading consumers with information can block the reader from understanding the key message. Consider shorter and more concise direct mail that the consumer can easily digest with the relevant information. Draw in recipients with an attractive benefit that makes them want to get in contact or visit your website, resulting in higher results and traffic.
Create an experience
The five senses are a major part of marketing, drawing in consumers and creating a memorable experience that links to your brand. Therefore, your direct mail can be much more than a postcard, there are possibilities to make it creative and engaging. This is an opportunity to really connect with your target audience. Think about the different materials you could use, colour combinations and even interactive features that stand out and make your product and company memorable to the receiver.
Planning your direct mail
Effective planning for your direct mail campaign will benefit you greatly. Try testing a mailing to a small target audience before rolling out the entire campaign to allow you to monitor the results and make changes accordingly. Identify your goals with a structured plan that contains clear aims and objectives. By utilising the data you have available you’re able to avoid customers who will be uninterested and keep your communications limited to valuable customers. You’re able to then consider trialling different methods of direct mail split amongst segments of your customer database to monitor the most effective direct mail for the best ROI.
Successful direct mail examples
1 Kit Kat Chunky
Nestle released a strongly branded flyer to advertise their Kit Kat Chunky in 2012. This direct mail communicated how chunky their Kit Kat Chunkys are using the design of a missed delivery note. Playing on the sense of familiarity and a trusted symbol causes the consumer to get a sense of loyalty with the product. The Royal Mail-inspired delivery note stated that the recipient’s Kit Kat Chunky was not posted due to it being “too chunky” and allowed the customer to collect their free bar at a nearby location. This campaign created a connection with the customer playing on familiarity and strong branding, whilst offering a reward.
2 Green Belgium / World Water Day
To mark World Water Day in 2009, there was a direct mailing sent out to companies and the press which had a letter inside that was only readable when held under water. This was to prove that water is the source of all knowledge and has unrivalled value. The innovative direct mail marketing campaign was able to engage a large number of people and it successfully achieves its goal of raising awareness. They were able to create an experience with the user to spark curiosity and start conversations and get their information across effectively.
3 Nike Shoe Box
Nike aimed to inspire kids to pursue their dreams of playing football professionally. They did this by transforming a limited number of Nike shoe boxes into a stadium with embedded sound chips. Whomever opened the box was greeted by a stadium inside as well as sounds of a cheering football crowd. This cost-effective and impactful direct mail marketing campaign really connected with its targeted audience by using a familiar box and turning it into something aspirational playing on the senses of sight n sound.
4 GGRP Sound Record Player
Vancouver-based GGRP sent out a direct mail campaign in 2009 to creative directors to promote their sound production services. This campaign featured a cardboard record player that was able to be folded together from flat in only a single step. You were then able to place the record under the needle and spin it with a pencil for a functioning record player. Though this campaign was a lot more complex, it really played on the creativity of direct mail to ultimately create an experience with the recipient to remember and connect with your brand.