Direct Mail captures consumer attention and enhances digital engagement
On April 30, 1993, CERN introduced the World Wide Web to the biosphere by releasing the software in the public domain. Soon after that, it made a release available with an open license, maximizing its availability across the globe. The business opportunities were immediately recognized, and the term digital marketing quickly gained the attention of major brands. In the initial stages of digital marketing, brands easily garnered consumers’ attention with this fresh medium. In 2000, Google launched AdWords, which proliferated and in 2021 generated $147 billion in revenue. The total global online advertising spending has exploded to $709 billion in 2021. The efficiency, relatively low cost, and ease of digital marketing have made it accessible to businesses of all sizes. However, the same accessibility has led to significant clutter in the digital space.
The digital landscape has become oversaturated, with 75% of consumers saying they are overwhelmed by the number of digital ads they see. Consumers are increasingly using ad-blocking software or simply tuning out digital marketing offers. Increased banner blindness, a phenomenon in which visitors to a website ignore banner-like or advertising information, and digital fatigue, a psychological condition consumers experience with the overwhelming content in the digital environment, pose significant challenges for marketers seeking to capture consumer attention.
Another challenge facing digital marketers is the increased concern over digital privacy that has led to stronger digital privacy laws and requirements for expressed permission, unsubscribe buttons, and a cookie-less future. Low open rates now plague digital marketing with only 20-30% of emails being opened, and click-through rates for standard display ads in Canada have plummeted to just 0.06%.
All these factors have made it more challenging for marketers to reach their audiences online, and marketers are again turning to a tried-and-true marketing channel to connect with consumers – direct mail. With open rates as high as 90%, direct mail is a leading driver to entice consumers back to digital channels. A recent Canada Post study revealed that people paid 39% more attention to integrated direct mail and digital campaigns than to single-media digital campaigns and demonstrated 40% higher brand recall. On average, businesses that employ omnichannel marketing strategies also retain 89% of their customers, as opposed to only 33% of customer retention for businesses with weak or no omnichannel marketing programs.
“Consumers simply pay more attention to tactile offers, and they keep direct mail pieces around their homes longer, increasing the number of exposures to a brand message,” says John Leonard, V.P. Sales and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management.
How to drive consumers back to digital
1. Take advantage of the tactile nature of direct mail to get attention.
Sending a letter, postcard, or brochure is all highly effective at getting consumer attention. Once you have committed to an omnichannel marketing campaign with direct mail, take advantage of its tangibility by sending samples, and use different textures, scents, and tastes to further engage consumers with your brand.
2. Provide consumers with personalized offers to drive them to your website.
Call-to-action (CTA) must be more than just an invitation to visit a website. Consumers want a benefit or reward for their time, money, and loyalty to your brand. Promotional discounts, limited-time offers, BOGO, free products, and new product samples can entice consumers to re-engage with your brand. Tapping into historical purchasing records to personalize your direct mail offers can further improve the success of your omnichannel marketing campaigns.
3. Make it easy for consumers to connect with you online.
The use of QR codes to link consumers to online landing pages designed for specific offers can quickly and efficiently make the interaction between channels seamless. Between 60-65% of people use QR Codes daily, which is why major brands are seeing remarkable success with increases in consumer engagement rates, conversions, and ROI.
4. Give a boost to engagement rates with a follow-up email.
It takes, on average, eight touchpoints for a consumer to engage with your brand. Direct mail has demonstrated how effectively it can get consumers re-engaged with your online activity. However, you can further improve results with every touchpoint. Once your direct mail piece is in hand, sending them an email reminder can encourage the stragglers to engage.
With major brands re-investing in direct mail, it has once again become a pivotal component in omnichannel marketing campaigns. It has proven its worth to major companies like Google and Amazon in redirecting consumers to online activity. By developing integrated campaigns, you can cut through the online clutter, capture consumer attention in meaningful ways, and continue to successfully engage consumers online.
John Leonard is V.P., Sales & Marketing for Cover-All Business Communication Management. He works with his team and clients to develop relevant and effective communications by using data and technology. Contact Cover-All Business Communication Management to find out more at (416)752-8100.