15 years ago, customers were begging to get off mailing lists. Mailboxes were so full of direct business marketing materials that people dreaded their daily trip to the mailbox. Now, in a careful-what-you-wish-for scenario, consumers are begging for a reason to go to the mailbox. When marketers responded to customer demands to stop the paper trail, the advertisements came directly into the home through email and online advertising. Mailing lists went digital and customers missed the feel of the advertisement in their hands.
Marketers have responded to the fickle winds of the consumer and have returned to mailers for their advertising needs, and the numbers are looking great. While email piles up and can rest unread for a long time, research proves that 79 percent of all households at least scan all direct mail that’s pulled out of the physical mailbox. Pitney Bowes discovered that 78 percent of all consumers actually prefer direct mail for new product announcements over email notifications. The argument stands alone – direct mail has made a huge comeback.
Business marketing gurus are diversifying their direct mail portfolios with a number of different options. Flyers, postcards, even calendars are great items to send out to customers. The media is designed, proofed, printed, then mailed to a pre-defined customer list, where the customer is more likely to respond because there is no work involved to view the advertisement. Email advertisements, on the other hand, are rarely being viewed anymore due to overactive spam blocking software, default folders for ads, missing images, and cluttered formatting due to browser and e-mail software variations.
Flyers work well for blitzing the customer list. If there is an event that needs to be advertised quickly, or if the focus group is small, flyers are the most economical and easiest means to get the word out. The flyer can be focused on one specific aspect of the business, but it is large enough to include more details, such as venue name, address, contact information and sign up information. This type of advertisement is also easy for the customer to save and review at a later date. It won’t get misplaced as easily as smaller means of communication.
There are times, however, when a postcard serves its purpose. Smaller events are often advertised on postcards. The postcard can be used for special coupon offers or other enticing offers. Often, businesses ask the customer to bring the postcard in to receive an offer. This helps the business marketing team monitor the effectiveness of the postcard.
Finally, calendars are a useful tool to help keep your company fresh with the customer all year long. When a company distributes a useful item to a customer, brand recognition is extended beyond the initial reception of the first advertisement. Even if the customer only glances at the brand on the calendar, the brand will still stick in his or her mind. When there is a need, the customer will be more likely to consider the company on the calendar first.
Direct mail is coming back strong, and it’s getting creative. Smart businesses are cashing in on this new trend, and the results are quite profitable.