The global pandemic has been blamed for many things, but one thing it has certainly done is exacerbate digital fatigue. For the past two years, many consumers have lived the majority of their lives online, inundated with thousands of emails and ads every single day and it’s no wonder people are burned out, and looking for opportunities to log off. For businesses looking to reach potential consumers, after years of marketing digitally, it may be time to return to more analog efforts by way of direct mail marketing.
A 2021 study found that 75% of consumers are overwhelmed by their daily digital ad exposure, but what’s more interesting, is that for all of these ads, businesses are seeing a smaller and smaller return on investment. Email and social media marketing hover around a 1% response rate, while display ads only see a .3% response rate, instead of pouring more money into ineffective ads, companies are starting to integrate direct mail marketing into their overall
Direct mail marketing can garner a response rate as high as 9% while also offering the highest conversion rates, the lowest cost per lead, and the overall highest return on investment when compared with other advertising options.
Direct mail marketing, when companies send marketing collateral directly to potential customers’ mailing addresses via the mail, has already reached and surpassed pre-pandemic levels – up 34% since 2020. While customer acquisition costs online continue to rise, direct mail offers something that digital advertising can’t: a physical touchpoint. Sending mail cuts through the digital clutter and offers customers a way to connect.
A 2019 USPS study found that 88% of millennials take time to look through their mail and that 59% find the information more useful than information received via email. Given the fact that the millennial generation, the oldest of which are now entering their 40s, harness more spending power than any other generation, these are potential customers worth reaching. For the past decade, companies have learned to retarget ads digitally, but direct mail offers the opportunity to take an omnichannel communication approach and retarget from digital to physical, reaching those potential customers who have grown unresponsive to digital outreach. While having an existing mailing list of past customers is helpful, it’s not the only way to reach potential new customers via direct mail. Printers and mailing houses can help guide businesses through buying consumer lists, specifically choosing key demographics, or for the simplest, most cost-effective method, businesses can target neighborhoods through the USPS Every Door Direct Mail program.
The Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program is a bulk mailing program that allows businesses to send mail to potential customers along a specific route, in targeted neighborhoods, without having to know their addresses. The simplicity of the EDDM program is what can make it so appealing to local businesses trying to expand their reach or announce their opening to a new neighborhood.
Once you’ve established your goals, the first step is to design a mailpiece. The USPS has very specific guidelines for this as far as overall size as well as which areas of the piece need to remain clear. A printer will also be able to help with this step.
Choosing a Mail Route
Whether you want to tell your business’ neighbors about a new sale or target a competitor’s neighborhood, you can select the routes you’d like to send mail to directly on the USPS’s site.
DIY or Use a BMEU
You’ll next want to decide whether you’d prefer to bundle the mailings yourself or outsource that to a Business Mail Entry Unit – typically a printer. Doing it yourself does not require a permit but will require time (mailings must be bundled in 100s) and also includes quantity limits. Using a BMEU allows businesses to utilize their permit and is best for larger mailings so that there are not any quantity limitations. Learn more about the two options here.
One Last Word
While direct mail can be a powerful tool in reaching potential customers, it’s best utilized as part of an overall marketing strategy that incorporates a functional website and social media where customers whose interest you piqued with your mailing can turn for additional information. Make the physical to digital transition even easier for them by including a QR code on your mailing that links directly to your website.