All around us, we hear about the benefits of going paperless. When it comes to marketing, that may not be the best move. In a world of social media saturation and clogged inboxes, direct mail has more power than ever. In fact, a recent Brand Science Study showed a 62% lift for digital campaigns that include direct mail. Even 100% digital companies like Google and Uber are using direct mail to advertise their businesses.
Now is not the time to give up print. But savvy marketers are making their print contacts even more powerful. Let’s take a look at a few ideas.
- Focus on recent customers. These customers already like your products and have a relationship with your brand. To get them to purchase again, you may just need to send a simple reminder, such as a postcard or sell sheet, to nudge them into action. If you’re looking to stretch your marketing dollars, focus on recent customers first.
- Know your top customers. Pay particular attention to retaining customers with the highest profit margin. These may be customers who shop with you most frequently or who purchase the highest volume. If you are prospecting, develop a profile of these customers and target new customers just like them. If you don’t know who your top customers are, a proactive investment in data analysis can reap big returns.
- Be relevant. Do you know where your customers’ pain points are? Do you know what keeps them up at night? Don’t assume that all buyer motivations are the same. Get to know your customers and engage in sincere dialogue about what they want and why. This will pay off in more relevant communications and better results.
Print marketing is evolving. Success is no longer based on trying to get a static “same to all” message in front of as many people as possible. It’s about marketing smart and marketing relevant and using the tangible, confidence-building channel of print to its maximum advantage.
Tempted to shift marketing dollars to electronic media because it is less expensive? Think before you switch. While electronic media, including email, can be an important part of the mix, print remains the bedrock of an effective long-term campaign. Let’s look at five reasons you can’t afford to skimp on print.
- Cut through the clutter. With less postal mail in the mailbox, your printed pieces get noticed right away. Let the competition fight it out in the inbox. You have prospect’s attention the moment they open the mailbox door.
- Add instant credibility. During a time when any company can create professional-looking email, print tells the reader that you are the real deal. If you put it in print, consumers trust that you’re going to stand by your word.
- Stay connected. More and more, people are tiring of 24/7 electronic connectivity. Make sure the prospect has your information at his fingertips when he unplugs from digital devices. Print never runs out of power.
- Print makes sense. Print appeals to all five senses. It appeals to the eye, with rich colors and textures beyond what we can get on screen. As we reach out to experience the texture of special papers and finishes, it appeals to the touch. It appeals to our sense of smell, which is handled by the same part of the brain that handles memory and emotion. It appeals to our sense of hearing too, as the pages crinkle and slide. There is no better way to get prospects to taste your product than by mailing a sample.
- You can’t hide from print. The same developers who introduced the electronic platforms are developing technologies to empower consumers to avoid them. Think TiVo and spam filters. The mail carrier, on the other hand, always delivers your mail.
Print versus e-marketing isn’t an either/or choice. Increasingly, marketers are using both together for a one-two punch. But some information just needs the pace and benefits of print, and it has never been easier or less expensive to get high-quality printed materials in the hands of your target audience.