It’s Not Rocket Science, But It Is Science

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Re-educating today’s market on the value of Direct Mail

Whilst everyone thinks of digital as the easy way to reach out, GDPR has given us all a reason to pause for thought, and research has given us the compelling edge as to why direct mail is still relevant in today’s crowded market. In fact, 87% of people say mail is believable, 70% feel valued by the sending company and 70% saying it gives them a better impression of the company.

The battle between offline and online has been a long one, with the newest generation of marketers coming through as digital natives without the expert knowledge of previous offline channels and what they have to offer. But this doesn’t mean it should be a case of offline vs online, instead we should now be looking at how all channels can work together to ensure maximum relevancy and effect when reaching your target audience and encouraging them to make a purchase.

In fact, 87% of people say mail is believable, 70% feel valued by the sending company and 70% saying it gives them a better impression of the company.

So, let’s get back to basics and start re-introducing one of the most effective channels, direct mail, into our omnichannel strategies. Direct mail isn’t rocket science, but it is based on scientific facts and is a tactic that may be lost amongst the amass of channels striving to meet today’s ‘always on’ marketing requirements. In fact, the average consumer is exposed to 10,000 brand messages a day, but how many of those actually ‘get through’ and how many are lost to digital message overload. Interestingly only 0.5% of these are direct mail.

The case for direct mail is a clear one, boasting 10-30x higher response rates than any digital channel. There are several reasons for this:

  1. It provides strong perceived value – it shows you care and value their custom. ‘57% of respondents said that postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship.’[1]
  2. It creates a physical connection – it puts your brand physically in their hands. ‘Giving, receiving and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience.’[2]
  3. It creates an emotional connection – you can evoke all 5 senses. Individuals who were exposed to physical ads experienced heightened excitement as well as a greater subjective valuation and desirability for the items advertised.’[3]
  4. It provides a more memorable experience – our memory tends to bank more significant experiences. ‘60% said this effect made a more lasting mental impression on them, making it easier to recall later on.’[4]
  5. It has longevity and shareability – DM benefits from loss aversion unlike any other channel? ‘Mail is kept in a household on average for 17 days, 39% of people have a dedicated display area and 23% is shared.’[5]

But that doesn’t mean we suggest dropping all online channels in favour of direct mail. There are key times in which a direct mail strategy, as part of the wider marketing strategy, should be deployed, where the problem is anything from activation, retention and basket abandonment, to cross-selling and winning back clients. For example:

For prospects – when prospects are at key tipping points in the sales funnel

Although harder to achieve unless you have collected the correct data already, it is possible to use direct mail to your prospects to encourage a sale. This could be at key points of the sale including when there is a need to get into a customer’s consideration set, when you want to present your benefits during active evaluation or at the zero moment of truth.

For customers – when opinion, behaviour or habits need to change

For example, direct mail could be used after a bad Customer Experience as research by The Gottman Institute says that for every bad experience it takes five positives to restore a relationship or if there is a high likelihood to churn and a dramatic intervention is needed.

It should also be used for high value customers with low net promoter scores, or where there is an opportunity for high value cross sell opportunity or to encourage a repeat purchase. This was the case for our launch client, Farmdrop, who wanted to use HurdlGram’s to encourage customers to make a second order.

As we face yet another shift in the marketing landscape, with customer fatigue ripe from the volume of digital messages – businesses like HurdlGram are introducing solutions to the market that take the benefits of Direct Mail and make them work even harder. By combining both the offline customer experience with online tactics, a new generation of direct marketing is born, boasting all the benefits of online data collection combined with the effects offline mail shots have.

We know that 87% of customers rate mail as believable compared with only 48% via email, and now we can harness the power of the post and still compete with the instant hit of programmatic marketing.

By harnessing the power of programmatic in an offline environment, HurdlGram is helping businesses reach the right consumers at the point of purchase, maintaining frequency through a complimentary channel. The case for direct mail has never been more pertinent, and by combining with the power of programmatic, you are sure to see a jump in conversions.

[1] Private Life of Mail – Royal Mail

[2] Private Life of Mail – Royal Mail

[3] Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response, sponsored by the U.S. Post Office

[4] Private Life of Mail – Royal Mail

[5] Royal Mail Guide to DM

Andrew Creed

Managing Partner at Hurdle
Andrew Creed

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