Why go through the trouble of designing, printing, and mailing?
"We market with email. It's practically free. I can email my customers as often as I wish and my message will be right there in front of them on their monitor."
"We have a website. It never takes a break, works all day and all night. My customers can google for my services, one click and my website pops up there in front of them on their monitor."
What if your customers aren't finding your website? What if your email click through rate is low? People either don't know you, can't find you, or don't remember you. There is nothing wrong with email marketing (when done respectively) - it can often be an integral part of a campaign, or provide useful information when targeted at the right market. There is nothing wrong with investing in a great website and search engine optimization (SEO), in fact it's necessary these days. Many consumers find it difficult to trust a company that doesn't publicly present itself well online. Email and online media can play a very important roll in a company's image and success; but, it is often not enough. With the averageemail click through rate at less than 3% and billions of business web pages, online stores, and price comparisons it is extremely easy for the consumer to shop around, disregard and delete. Shopping and deleting, all without remorse.
Marketing is a broad and competitive art. For a customer to commit to a buying decision there are three things that must be in place: the customer must have a need, the customer must find a resource to fill that need, and the customer must trust that resource.
Here, hold this.
Tangible, memorable, delicious.
A recent USPS study found that Americans spend an average of 30 minutes per day reading their mail. That's a 30-minute window that every mailpiece has with the target consumer. And the piece is not in competition with a million other businesses, but rather a handful. Let's look at how direct mail can excel over email, web, and even radio and TV marketing.
Direct mail is tangible. You can hold it in your hand, touch it, feel it, smell it. There can be texture, depth, product, interesting folds creating controlled messages. This creates an adventure and mystery. A personal experience. You can keep it and revisit it. Store it in your wallet, car, or office. Direct mail has the potential to physically stand out amongst it's immediate competition. It is not a picture of a flower. It is not a video of a flower. It is a flower.
Have you ever been confronted with a multi-media campaign that you thought was particularly exceptional? Perhaps it started with an email blast. Cute, quick, with decent graphics. If you gave it any amount of time at all it was likely aimed at the correct audience and incidentally must have been relevant to your needs or interests. Within the email should have been a call to action. This was either a phone number, address, or more commonly a link to a website. You clicked on the link, visited the website and learned what you wanted to know. But, closing the deal (the follow through or purchase) was probably not done at that time. So, if the deal is not closed what happens to the email or the website? The email is usually deleted or at least moved out of your inbox. The website may not be important enough to disrupt your favorites list. So, the first touch by the marketer is partially forgotten.
Then you receive a direct mail piece. The graphics match the email and website you visited. Perhaps you give the campaign a second look. More prepared now to make a decision, the direct mail piece means more to you. The website has more validity. The possibility of closing the deal is much more likely. It's as if the email and website were merely pictures of the real thing, which is now in your hand. Still, maybe you were not ready to commit at that time, so you put the mailpiece on your desk. Where it sat. Waiting in plain site. Conveying it's message over and over again. "Hey, I'm still here whenever you're ready" it says. Perhaps it became a conversation piece. "Bob, did you see this... kind of cool, eh?"
More to come...
Visit www.philprint.com for more information on printing and direct mail.