In fashion, it’s common for trends to repeat themselves every couple of decades (welcome back, flannel shirts, crop tops and baggy jeans!) In the world of marketing, the same could be said about direct mail.
This OG marketing medium dates back to 1892, when Sears, Roebuck, & Co. rolled out the first-ever direct mail campaign, sending out 8,000 postcards with a simple handwritten note to promote watches. As a result, they received 2,000 orders — an impressive 25% conversion rate.
Direct mail has had its ebbs and flows, but it’s rebounding in a big way in 2022, largely due to the social impact of the pandemic. After months of isolation and an overabundance of screen time, both B2B and B2C customers have a new appreciation for postal mail.
Direct mail is getting more attention than any other marketing method, and if it’s not already in your plans for this year, now’s a good time to get your efforts on trend.
Here’s why we’re declaring 2022 the Year of Direct Mail Marketing for both acquisition and reactivation:
People love paper. Consumers love a tangible piece of marketing, and direct mail creates that physical connection to your brand. An added benefit is an increase in memory recall and brain activations compared to using mobile devices. So your printed efforts may also succeed in making your brand unforgettable.
It’s targeted. Who says direct mail can’t target your demographics to a T? Leverage third-party customer data to drill down beyond simple personalization. Target mailings to reach ideal personas with the content and offers that’ll best resonate with them.
It works well with digital. Direct mail complements your digital strategy at every stage of the marketing funnel. For example, send out postcards with a QR code that drives to a landing page. Or, leverage a service like intent-based postal retargeting to follow up with web visitors who browsed but didn’t pull the trigger on a purchase.
You can measure its success. Direct mail marketing’s effectiveness can be measured in a number of ways. You can create a personalized website dedicated solely to your direct mail campaign and track your visitors. You can also use QR codes (as mentioned above) or offer unique activation codes for in-store or online offers. It might take some trial and error, but you can see what works best to encourage customer participation and refine your strategy.
The USPS has your back. Each year, the United States Postal Service offers special promotions to help make your direct mail marketing more affordable and efficient. This year, USPS promotions include postage discounts for integrating convenient mobile technologies into mailers, for example.
Time to push the envelope (or self-mailer, for that matter)
While it may be time-tested, direct mail marketing works better than ever to engage your customers and prospects in a tactile way that digital can’t. Print those postcards, send those catalogs and watch how direct mail efforts can impact your next marketing campaign.