29 May 2014

Direct mail is dead, long live direct mail

Kate Woodford, MRA Marketing's Creative Head asks if traditional channels still have a place in modern marketing campaigns.

When it comes to marketing, it can be tempting to be swept away by the exhilarating ride that is digital media. It’s fast, it’s instant – it really is the future. But as today’s switched on businesses ditch snail mail for email, are we in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water? Do more traditional channels still have a place?

According to a survey commissioned by the Direct Marketing Association last year, direct mail is not only still very much an offline player, it can be critical to marketing success online.

The research conducted by the consumer voice panel fast.MAP asked 1,232 randomly selected UK consumers what they thought of direct mail. The most telling finding for those businesses integrating digital into their marketing mix was that direct mail triggers an online response. Following receipt of a mail shot, 44% of respondents said they go online to check out the brand’s website and 34% were motivated to do an online search.

Less of the snail.

Another encouraging finding of the DMA research was that a whopping 79% of consumers say they respond to direct mail immediately. The Royal Mail, with its biased eye of course, also reports that more than 92% of direct mail is opened and that last year 48% of people took action as a result of receiving direct mail.

14.2 million bought something
10.5 million used a voucher or coupon
2.8 million tried a new product or service
3 million made an enquiry by phone.
The Royal Mail also goes on to claim that direct mail is even more powerful than digital. ‘As customers face email fatigue and the novelty wears off banner advertising, direct mail is again outperforming digital. Direct mail delivers an average £3.22 return on investment compared with online’s £3.12 for every £1 spent.’

The debate about direct mail and email is often now posted as a choice between online or offline, but both work well. And they work even better together as part of an integrated marketing campaign.

Agree? Disagree? Want help with your marketing? Comment below, tweet @MRAMarketing or email social@mra-marketing.com.

For the full From Letterbox to Inbox report click here: http://bit.ly/1in84Bv

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