Digital advertising has been hogging the spotlight lately. Every year, it seems, a new platform or trend emerges, and marketers scramble to hop on the latest bandwagon: Google, Facebook, Instagram, video, augmented reality, Snapchat, influencer marketing — you get the idea.


In comparison, direct mail looks almost… quaint. Which raises the question: Is the end near for the humble postcard?


Marketers would be foolish to count direct mail out. Check out these numbers:

  • 40% of consumers have made a purchase in the last three months because of direct mail they received (prWeb)
  • 56% of consumers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy (DMR)
  • 92% of millennial shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions (DMR)
  • 39% of consumers have tried a business for the first time because of direct mail (DMR)

Which is why, between all the digital marketing hype, the following headlines have appeared in business publications over the last 12 months:

  • Forget the Hype: Direct Mail is Not Dead (Business.com, Feb. 2017)
  • Why Direct Mail Marketing is Far From Dead (Huffington Post, June 2016))
  • Think Direct Mail Marketing is Dead? Think Again… (The Financial Brand, Sept. 2016)
  • Direct Mail Marketing Isn’t Dead — It’s Immortal (Adobe.com, Sept. 2016)

Because the facts are:

  • 73% of Americans go online every day (Pew Research)
  • 211 million people in the US make online purchases (Statista)
  • US consumers are expected to spend $440 billion online this year, up from $395 billion in 2016 (FTI Consulting)

So while direct mail is still one of the most effective lead-generation tools available, marketers HAVE to be online, as well.


And there’s one kind of digital marketing that is incredibly powerful — especially when combined with direct mail. It’s called retargeting (or remarketing or Google follow-up advertising).


Here’s how it works:


Imagine ABC Bistro (a business I just made up) sends out 5,000 postcards. A percentage of those recipients take an interest and go online to look at ABC Bistro’s menu and prices, and see what kind of reviews they get.


Then they leave and — poof! They’re gone. The next time those prospects go out to dinner, maybe they’ll remember that they wanted to try ABC Bistro — but many probably won’t.


Now imagine ABC Bistro sends out 5,000 postcards as part of an integrated marketing campaign that includes Google follow-up ads.


Interested prospects visit their website and, again, leave. But this time, those visitors were “cookied” with a piece of coding that tells Google to start showing them ABC Bistro’s follow-up ads.


Now, as those people visit other websites (across literally millions of sites in the Google network), they see ads for ABC Bistro, reminding them that they wanted to check it out!


Advertisers who use these types of integrated campaigns achieve exponentially improved returns on their investment (ROI) than with direct mail alone.


Let’s take a look at some REAL examples:


Construction company in Clearwater, FL

Postcards mailed: 18,000

Results: 46 calls, 222 click backs, 645,424 impressions

Campaign cost: $9,896.48

Campaign Revenue: $1 million

ROI: 10,004%


Insurance agency in Roswell, GA

Postcards mailed: 24,000

Result: 100 new policies written, 18 click backs, 22,241 impressions

Campaign cost: $11,000

Campaign revenue: $60,000 over first year (not counting renewals!)

1-year ROI: 545%


Machinery dealer in Nashville, TN

Postcards mailed: 6,000

Result: 16 responses, resulting in one sale

Campaign cost: $2,861

Campaign revenue: $125,000

ROI: 4,269%


Dental practice in Westminster, CO

Postcards mailed: 88,000

Results: 296 calls, 3,075 click backs, 597,329 impressions

Campaign cost: $30,587

Campaign revenue: $390,000

ROI: 1,175%


ROIs like that aren’t just good news for advertisers, but for printers and mail houses, too. One large commercial printer noted that clients who purchase these integrated campaigns reordered 70% more than the clients who don’t!



Brad Kugler is the CEO of DirectMail2.0, a fully integrated marketing solution for the clients of printers/mailers that combines the proven success of direct mail with in-demand features like online advertising and automated campaign tracking. You can schedule a free demo to see how a partnership with DirectMail2.0 can boost revenue and improve your clients’ response and ROI. Visit www.dm20.com or call 800.956.4129 today!

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