Integrating Direct Mail with Digital Targeting

direct mail

With newer forms of technology and techniques arising daily for ways to send out a message, older – more traditional – ways are being left behind. Direct mail, a form of direct marketing, was used by businesses to send promotional materials, such as postcards and letters, to former, current, or prospective customers. They could have been used in consumer markets, business markets, or a combination of both. Regardless of a market, the mailing is either directed towards a target geographic/demographic or it is simply mass mailing.

The use of direct mail had its various pros and cons. On one hand, it was an effective way of collecting a response if it was well targeted and written. On the other hand, many consumers just threw them away as ‘junk mail’. Direct mail was a cheaper alternative as it was in bulk, however, it became costlier when it didn’t garner the ideal outcome.

Uses of Direct Mail

It’s highly likely that consumers think of direct mail as simply being advertisements. However, there are actually several diverse ways that businesses and dealerships can use direct mail. It could be anything from a catalog to samples. Below is a list of the most common uses of traditional direct mail.

  1. Newsletters – though e-newsletters (email newsletters) are the most common and affordable method for delivering information to your mailing list – print newsletters can also be quite useful.

  2. Announcements – these were great for when you were announcing a new product or service, such as a new vehicle or sale that was occurring.

  3. Reminders – these could be anything from service reminders to a sale ending reminder.

  4. Useful tips and tricks – your consumers can really benefit from vehicle tips and tricks for commonly asked questions.

  5. Sale specials – sending out actual mail regarding an upcoming sale can pull in some possible sale leads for those that do not drive by the dealership often.

  6. Product/service catalog – for those consumers that you know might be tempted by a catalog, this can be extremely useful. It will not only bring in existing customers but by word of mouth, might also bring new customers.

Direct Mail Versus Digital

There have been various studies regarding the comparison of direct, physical mail to digital targeting. Consumers are 75% more likely to remember what they read in a physical mail document. On the other hand, consumers are only 44% more likely to remember information in a digital format.

In terms of a direct and digital mail, the return of investment is higher on digital formats with over 122%, followed by social media (28%), and direct mail (27%). Although the ROI for direct mail is lower than those of other mediums, the response rate has been known to be higher for direct mail.

So, Why Should You?

For the Google, Amazon, and Facebook era, direct mail seems to be something of the past. Direct mail to the working generation can seem almost ‘uncool’ with its lack of APIs, IPOs or the hacking culture within social media and SEO. Google’s ‘promotional’ tabs make it harder for advertisers to get their information across to prospective consumers. However, that problem won’t affect the profitability that is hidden in direct mails.

Integrating custom links within the direct mail can help you compile a list of sincerely involved consumers for you to condense your marketing list. With technology advancing at a rapid rate, businesses are using traditional methods of communication less and less. Therefore, meaning that the physical mailboxes are becoming less crowded; thus, making them the perfect place for advertisements to get noticed. There are also pricing advantages given to businesses for their Mail Drives Mobile Engagement program.

In addition to all that, digital natives, and Millennials actually prefer physical mail. Regardless of their reasoning’s behind that, they actually rely quite heavily on catalogs, fliers, newspapers and other printed purchase information.

The Integration

Regardless of what format you use, the world will continue to be connected in one way or another. However, for businesses, it’s important to have the ability to reach your consumers regardless of their demographic or geographic location. With an integrated marketing strategy that combines direct mail with digital formats, you give customers the ability to be contacted through their preferred method of communication. It also enhances the strength of the message through increasing the touch points.

There are five main tips for getting your dealerships started with the integration of direct mail with digital targeting and marketing. Through the implementation of these tips, you’ll be reaching a further audience with a higher response rate.

5 Tips for Integrating Direct Mail with Digital Targeting

  1. Personalized URLs Within Direct Mail – By including specialized and personalized URLs within your direct mail, while also having an incentive, such as discounts, exclusive products, or special offers – make it a worthwhile read for your customers.

  2. Incorporate Email Blasts – By sending a teaser email, pre-promoting your upcoming sales event can get your consumers to look for the upcoming physical mail.

  3. Integrate with Social Media Presence – By simply placing your social media URLs and asking for a follow or like can make a big difference. It can also be something like posting your direct mail campaigns on certain social media platforms. Or also use your social media platforms to encourage your consumers to join the mailing list.

  4. Integrate with Social Media Targeting – Social media is a great tool that can help you reach the audience who you want to target. It creates a targeting audience, which means your content is more likely to be seen by those you want. Thus, increasing the exposure of your offers and brand.

  5. Incorporate QR Codes – A QR code makes it simple for your consumer to find the website without having to type everything character by character. All they have to do is simply scan the code using a smartphone and they’ll be taken directly to the landing page. These landing pages can also have analytics and tracking attached to them, which would allow you to track the data and gather insight.

Regardless of which platforms you currently have or wish to go into – the foundation of the campaign lies in the creativeness of the content. The highest response rates come from the content that directly relates or affects the consumer.