Direct Mail Is Not Dead: Why traditional promotions still work

Fallen in love with digital marketing? Join the club. After all, what’s not to like? Digital marketing has a lot of pluses: it’s instant, easy to measure and – many people would argue – more environmentally friendly than its physical counterparts.

Before jumping on the digital bandwagon completely, however, it’s worth considering some of the advantages of one of the stalwarts of the traditional marketing toolset – direct mail.  There are a few good reasons for its enduring popularity…

Offline opportunities

It’s easy to forget that we’re not all permanently plugged in. Marketers, however, do so at their peril.  Never forget your audience – who are they and how do they access information to help them make buying decisions? Don’t succumb to the temptation to only target the older generation with information in printed form. A study from Royal Mail’s Market Reach demonstrated that brands have a genuine opportunity to use direct mail creatively to engage with young adults living at home with their parents.

Better together

Astute marketing professionals use a combination of direct mail and digital to create synergy in their communication efforts.  Marketing Week recently reported that a quarter of younger parents (mostly aged 25-44) agreed that direct mail helped alert them to new products and services. Interestingly, of the 45 per cent of families with younger children who claimed they could not live without the internet on their phone, 15 per cent said they had responded to direct mail online using their mobile or tablet.  Direct mail, therefore, can act as an important signpost to an organisation’s new app or online promotion.

Feel-good factor

For most of us, buying is an emotional – as well as a practical – process. The swoosh of the arrival of a new email doesn’t compete with the exciting thud on the doormat as your favourite magazine is delivered. Someone, somewhere is undoubtedly working on an app that appeals to multiple senses. Until then, however, the tactile qualities of print have the winning touch.

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