Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Queens of the Direct Mail Soapbox!

Long Live Direct Mail! Say it loud -- say it proud! Really.

Guess what? Even though we have a plethora of direct marketing tools in our picnic basket -- and a lot of them are way cool, way sexy -- direct mail is still the most effective way to get your message out. Yep, there's been a new survey conducted about this very topic. A recent article in DM News by Dean Rieck states that:

A recent survey by International Communications Research concluded that people prefer receiving things by direct mail. Seventy-three percent of respondents said they prefer receiving new product announcements by mail, versus 18% for e-mail. And, a whopping 86% said they prefer direct mail for official correspondence, such as bills, bank statements and financial reports, compared to 10% for e-mail.

For those of us who have long lauded the benefits of highly-targeted, intelligent direct mail, this is music to our ears. Further, Rieck goes on to say that, "fewer people trash unsolicited direct mail when compared to e-mail, 31% to 53%." Now, we all love e-mail and it's very apparent that there are those who prefer to be communicated with via e-mail. However, this study simply points out that direct mail does still work -- and when you're trying to get a particular message out to a specific audience, you can do it quite effectively with direct mail.

If you're avid readers of this blog (and we hope you are!), you know that we're huge proponents of strategically utilizing all of the available direct marketing channels. And, by listening to your customer's preferences, you can make your campaigns very successful utilizing a multi-channel approach.

The point of this post is to remind you that as you plan your DM campaigns, don't rule out direct mail. When executed correctly, this channel is a great way to get your message across -- and an excellent way to ensure that it will not be ignored. You can use any format you like and many different methods of delivery.

Now, here's the next conundrum . . . how do you effectively utilize direct mail and be a "green" marketer at the same time? Because as more and more studies point out, both businesses and consumers are getting greener by the day. Something to think about as you go about your day!

Have a great Tuesday!


Adelino said...

The old DM is the new DM. Yeah, it looks like consumer behavior did not change appreciably in terms of channel response since the web came about: people still attribute to paper a value that email is yet to gather.
In my view it's just a matter of using each channel for what it does best, bills that are needed as a long term record work best on paper, catalogs still work best on paper and emails from unknown merchants are usually deleted, etc. etc.
It's as if common sense were just now validated with research.

Nancy Arter said...

Well stated viewpoint . . . while simple, it kind of sums it all up.

I still think it's all about getting to customer preferences. After all, I'd rather get my bills electronically -- hence, I do. However, some need to have the paper to relate back to and file -- it's just in their blood. If marketers can figure out how to best communicate with their customers, their customers will both read and respond to those communications more frequently.

Thanks for your comment!