Direct mail... Back-in-the-day or Future Play? Part II

Posted by Robert Moura on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 @ 11:28 AM

Tips for improving direct mail and email marketing.

As promised in Part I I will do some of the math to make the case for direct mail as compared to pay per click and email blasts. I stated that we in the printing and direct mail industry had allowed the folks in the web-based world (email blast, SEM and banner ads etc.) to improperly equate a web-based “click” response rate to our typical “direct mail” response rate.

Conventional Response Rate Wisdom says:

- A web-based campaign, generally speaking, considers a 5% response rate to be very successful.

- A direct mail campaign is successful with a 1-3% response rate.

This is where the improper comparison starts. The 5% response rate in the web-based campaign is defined as a “click”. A “click” is when someone “clicks” on the link to VIEW information. The 1-3% response rate in direct mail is when someone BUYS something and/ or takes the action that the direct mail piece was requesting!! If you want to compare apples to apples then you must compare the web-based click rate of 5% (which is more properly defined as the VIEW rate) with the “Click” or VIEW rate of direct mail, which is 79% (The Household Diary Study Mail Use & Attitudes in FY 2009)

 USPS Mail readership

 

Note that almost 100% of the recipients receive the direct mail piece in their mailbox while at least 30% of email is never delivered because of SPAM filters. When you calculate the cost of a pay per “click”, or VIEW, at an average $2-$4 compared with a cost per “direct mail click” or VIEW of $.90 (roughly $.30 postage + $.60 print 2sides and address and mail) you have a much more apples to apples comparison.

My point is that you need to have accurate information before you decide on one approach or the other based on potentially biased statistics. Or before discarding direct mail out of hand as irrelevant. Have you checked your good old fashion mailbox lately? It is probably the least competitive and cluttered space for you to get your message across to your clients, not to mention that most young folks don’t have land phone lines and they don’t take kindly to spam on their "sacred cell phones", but they do all have dwellings with mail boxes!!

Our belief is that great marketers should deploy both types of direct marketing campaigns. When web-based and direct mail marketing is deployed properly the synergies can produce fantastic results far greater than the sum of the individual parts!

This is why at Universal we utilize and offer our clients both conventional direct mail as well as Symphony, our multi channel marketing software, that incorporates pURLs (Personalized URLs) as part of our marketing strategy. This combination definitely provides a real lift to the response rates of both types of campaigns. In addition with Symphony you have a real time dashboard and can measure results and modify campaigns so you can decide for yourself if your specific campaign goals and objectives have been met.

Tags: email marketing, Tips for improving direct mail and email marketing, direct mail, multi channel marketing, pURLs, response rate, email blast, Symphony, click rate, clicks, pay per click, sem