Friday, July 29, 2011

Mail In Hand Is Better Than Many E-mails In Cyberspace

So much has been written about the increase in digital media and the decrease in volume of first class mail, it’s no wonder there’s confusion about how to best reach existing and prospective clients.

Still, successful digital marketing often heavily relies on the precision of an address list, and the literal weight of a direct mail piece. Yes, lists and mail and lists have been the foundational success of our business for the past 15 years, but there is plenty of evidence to back up the statement.

Consider the findings from a recent study from the research firm Nielsen which noted that noted almost 90% of shoppers prefer to receive advertisements in the future via direct mail. The preference for receiving advertisements via e-mail was lower, with 72%. The preference for receiving advertisements via smart and mobile phones was even lower, with 31%.

None of this is to denigrate the importance of e-mail and social media. Instead the takeaway is that using direct mail to get your message into a prospect’s hands is by far the preferred way that they want to hear about your promotion. And it’s likely to drive the greatest response rate. As we described in last month’s blog post, the mail piece is the jumping off point used to spur an order, capture an e-mail address, or direct the recipient to a website, perhaps through a QR code.

While e-mails seem like an inexpensive and quick way to reach out to customers, another Nielsen study determined that “Close to 70% percent of shoppers from a recent Nielsen survey say they look at printed paper material either mailed to the home (67%) or in newspapers (69%) at least once per week in their quest for sales and promotions.”

Physical mail isn’t going away. Nor is any new media communication pushing mail entirely out of the communications stream. Instead, making smart decisions about where and when to use the different modes of communications available to you is key to the success of your direct marketing efforts.