Is your marketing lost in the digital abyss?
The pandemic gave the digital marketing era a significant boost; digital channels have become so congested that their effectiveness has diminished. It is estimated that the average consumer sees between 4,000 to 10,000 digital ads daily and receives 44,167 e-mails per year.
This clutter, or excessive amounts of advertising messages on the Internet, has largely desensitized consumers to advertisements. Click-through rates for standard display ads in Canada have plummeted to just 0.06%, and banner blindness – when consumers mentally block out banner ads – is at an all-time high.
It’s fair to say that digital marketing is not just saturated but oversaturated. A key strategic pivot to other channels is necessary to make your brand relevant in your consumer’s journey.
Every brand faces the same challenges of differentiating itself from the competition, creating the right messaging and remaining top of mind. It’s not good enough just to stand out from the crowd of ubiquitous creative, you need to get noticed, and that involves being in a less cluttered environment. Identifying the right time and place to connect with target customers and deliver impactful, creative messages is key to penetrating the clutter.
Get Noticed, Get Results with Direct Mail
The challenges with an oversaturated channel have necessitated the need for marketers to take advantage of omnichannel marketing to get consumer attention. Direct mail is a channel that has gained renewed attention from brand managers as a method of getting noticed because it has an open rate of over 90%, while e-mail only has at most a 30% open rate. Contrast the 10,000 daily digital ads and 44,167 annual e-mails consumers are bombarded with against the 447 direct mail pieces per year, and one can easily see why direct mail is so effective at getting consumer attention. It’s no wonder tech giants like Amazon and Google use direct mail as part of their omnichannel marketing strategy.
Strategies to help your brand Get Noticed
Capture consumer attention with an uncluttered medium: When you are trying to eclipse the competition, you need to first capture your audience’s attention, which begins with the right channel. Direct mail has high response rates because it’s not a cluttered medium, and because it is hard to replicate the tangible nature of direct mail with digital channels. Consumers love to be courted by brands in a tactile nature. The creative, the format, and the personalization all work together to create a memorable impression. In fact, marketers who utilize direct mail have seen impressive results, including increased website visits by up to 68%, improved response rates by 63%, increased sales leads by 53%, and increased ROI by 60%.
Make the creative memorable: In today’s overstimulated advertising environment, the goldfish effect, or shortened attention spans, created by the bombardment of content from social and other online media, necessitates that your creative packs a punch both online and offline. Everything from the images you choose, fonts, colours, paper, and other design elements all have the ability to get your messages noticed in a way that nothing else can. Creative also becomes part of your strategic messaging by informing your audience that you are a different kind of company. It allows you to differentiate your brand and communicate that you have something unique to offer. Creative alone can’t sell your product, but it will get your message noticed. Take a closer look at your creative. Would it engage you?
Make it personal: Today’s consumer expects not just personalized but individual marketing messaging that is tailored to their specific needs. In fact, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. Data processing programs combined with variable data imaging can provide highly individualized messages for each consumer, helping you to get noticed!
Utilize the right direct mail format: Direct mail offers so many different options, including postcards, self-mailers, brochures, letters, and dimensional mailers, and each has something to offer your brand depending on your goals, budget, and customer value.
Envelope Mailers: In cases where your mailing needs to convey more information, or needs a more official or personal touch, a letter might be the best option. Industries such as not-for-profit, insurance companies, and financial services benefit from envelope mail because their offers generally require greater explanations and details, and are often highly individualized. Two tech giants are also known for using envelope mailers as part of their marketing campaigns – Amazon uses them to sell things such as books and music, while Google has successfully employed this method to sell Google Ads.
Self-Mailers: Self-Mailer refers to any piece of direct mail that does not require an envelope, including brochures, flyers, catalogues, and booklets. Self-mailers are ideal when communicating events, special offers, sales, and coupons to a mass market. They may or may not be more economical than envelope mailers depending on the cost of the graphics, which can be higher for a self-mailer trying to get attention than a letter and envelope would be.
Dimensional Mailers: These are 3D-type mailers that include unique shapes, boxes, tubes and pop-up or pop-out elements that instantly get attention. They often contain samples and promotional items, and because of their uniqueness tend to have the highest brand recall. According to the DMA, dimensional mail had the best B2B response rate of any direct mail at 8.51%. Considered the most effective direct mail format, dimensional mailers have a 100% open rate, yet this is likely to be the most expensive choice for your campaign from both a creative and postage perspective. “It has its place in specific brand strategies and is the format of choice for brands trying to attract high-value customers,” says John Leonard, V.P. Sales and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management.
Postcards: If you are looking for a cost-effective direct mail option that is highly effective, then postcards are the right option. Postcards are ideal for various communications, including thank-you notes, holiday cards, sales promotions, and event announcements. There are various size options, including the standard 4” x 6” postcard that is small and cost-effective, however not as popular as the 5” x 7” postcard which is more likely to get attention. Going a little larger with a 6” x 9” or a 6” x 11” will cost you more for postage and printing but can garner the attention you are looking for within a limited budget, while offering more room for brand messaging and attention-getting creative.
Intelligent Documents (transactional mail): These are documents that are often used by insurance and financial institutions, and can be referred to as transactional mail. This type of mail requires both data processing capabilities and higher levels of data security than other forms of direct mail because they often include confidential and sensitive data. “This type of mail requires certain specifications that not all mail companies are prepared to handle, and the most important part of this type of mail program is partnering with a company that has the data processing and security in place. All clients are concerned about data protection, but transactional mail clients are generally more concerned as they require higher data security standards such as ISO 27001 Certification. It assures them that their data is managed in a secure environment”, says Leonard.
Getting noticed has become the most challenging and vital part of marketing success, and turning to a medium with proven results will spark your omnichannel campaigns. Making it part of your 2023 campaign can be a game-changer for your brand.
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.