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Canny Use of Direct Mail Can Help Online Media Performance

There’s no question that an important part of your demographic uses digital media. And if you can precisely identify where your most profitable customers “live” online, what their interests are, and how what your company does fits in with what these people want when they’re in the mood to purchase something, you can do very well.

But while digital marketing can be highly effective, smart marketers know better than to put all of their eggs in one digital basket. Which brings us to direct mail. Personalized direct mail gives you a chance to reach people when they’re not in front of their screens.

Let’s talk about reaching boomers for a moment. According to the Pew Research Center, only 58% of seniors use the Internet. This means that 42% of seniors won’t see your digital ads. Adapting your strategy to account for this reality will change your budget allocation.

Want to reach younger consumers? Yes, they’re true “digital citizens” but they’re not always searching, shopping, or reading on their screens. Interestingly, to many younger consumers, receiving a piece of mail is an event taken less lightly than seeing an online ad impression. Consequently, it gives you a chance to break through the digital e-clutter.

How about email? Unfortunately, E-mail isn’t as reliable a channel as it used to be. Thanks to spam filters and consumers’ general frustration with clogged inboxes, the open rate of e-mails has declined significantly in recent years. While e-mail is still a great way to stay in contact with those already subscribed to your product or service, it may not be the best way to gain new customers.

Today’s consumers — young and old — prize “authentic” contact. According to Compu-Mail, 70% of Americans say mail is more personal than the Internet. Audiences recognize the effort that is put into printed mail, and there is more of a chance that they will respond. Whether it’s a personalized notice for an exclusive deal/coupon, a useful piece of information, or other low-key inducement for commercial activity, printed media provides an element of exclusivity that the vast landscape of the internet often does not permit.

Personalization is the key to success with any direct marketing campaign. Use personalized URLs so consumers have a place to go that’s optimized to meet their needs when they reconnect with the online channel. Personalized URLs can be customized to appeal to each individual recipient. Often the display of such an URL is all it takes to get the person interested in your offer. There’s no better way to get your message to stand out — even in a crowded mailbox — and spur your recipient toward taking the positive action you desire.

Steven Baldwin
Steven Baldwin
Author, Editor, Web Producer, New Yorker. Best known for bird-centric blog:

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