In 2019, direct mail remains one of the most effective marketing tools in a marketer’s arsenal, particularly in the business-to-consumer (B2C) market. The latest research from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) shows it’s actually become more effective in the digital age with average response rates better than all digital channels combined.
When direct mail is at its best––personalized, valuable, unique, well-designed and relevant to the recipient––it can be powerful on its own. When combined with the latest in digital tools that bring data into the mix, it’s even more effective. Marketers today have access to data that simply didn’t exist years ago, enabling them to understand customers on a deeper level and create campaigns that resonate in new and meaningful ways.
And they’re doing just that. Fueled by rich customer data, micro-targeting, and segmentation, response rates for house list direct mail rose a whopping 37% since 2015––reaching as high as 9% today. Email campaigns, by comparison, can expect response rates of 1% or less.
Here are five essential direct mail best practices to get you started on building your own successful direct mail campaign:
1. Make it personal (and watch response rates climb): In 2019, consumers have come to expectpersonalized offers no matter what form they take. According to recent research from Marketo, 79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized to reflect previous interactions the consumer has had with the brand.
2. Localize your materials based on geography: While it often overlaps with 1:1 personalization, retailers, franchises, commercial services and other organizations with multiple locations are realizing the importance of engaging customers and prospects with localized customization.
3. Use direct mail to support cross channel campaigns: Direct mail has proven itself to be a critical element for B2C cross channel campaigns, creating an online and offline multi-channel experience to nurture customers and prospects throughout the buying journey.
4. Use customer data in new ways: Using CRM data to send targeted mail pieces is nothing new. But in 2019 (and certainly beyond), marketers are expected to dig further into this data to unlock useful insights that can further inform their marketing efforts and go beyond traditional targeting.
5. Don’t forget the basics: In addition to all the recent developments in direct mail, it’s important not to forget the basic best practices of creating an effective mailer:
- Provide several ways for recipients to respond.
- Keep it short.
- Call attention to your call-to-action.
- Include a P.S.
While times are very good for direct mail, the investment in a well-crafted campaign still requires marketers adhere to a few best practices. Grab our new eBook, 5 B2C Direct Mail Best Practices for 2019: A Marketer’s Guide, for a deeper dive into the essential direct mail best practices in 2019 (and beyond).