Google and Amazon use a similar marketing channel strategy that may surprise you

What does Google, the world’s largest search engine, have in common with Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer? Despite their massive online presence, these big tech companies know going offline helps garner the attention of their target audience and can lead to a significant increase in revenue. What many digital-savvy marketers may be surprised by is that these tech giants both employ direct mail as a key strategy.

Google’s multi-channel marketing strategy incorporates direct mail pieces including postcards and tri-folded, full-colour brochures…

Google parent company Alphabet Inc. breached $2 trillion in market value for the first time this month, fueled predominantly by growth in its digital advertising business. Google’s multi-channel marketing strategy incorporates direct mail pieces including postcards and tri-folded, full-colour brochures to advance its messaging that Google Ads are a mechanism for growing a business by being online when people are searching for their products. With a company that is so driven by analytics, Google knows what others are failing to realize – direct mail is highly effective at increasing conversion rates. In fact, direct mail combined with digital ads increases conversion rates by an impressive 28%.

Google Uses Direct Mail

Amazon mails thousands of traditional folded letters in envelopes to promote Amazon Music…Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer has overthrown Wal-Mart as Canada’s largest retailer with Canadians spending over $9.4 billion through Amazon per year. Their online shopping business model has transformed how we shop and put many brick-and-mortar stores out of business. However, their digitally-driven business model employs a non-digitally driven marketing channel strategy – direct mail. Many people are familiar with Amazon’s annual Toy Catalogue that is delivered to tens of thousands of homes, and the packages of product samples they send to Prime members. But did you know that Amazon employs direct mail for other products such as Amazon Music? Utilizing a traditional folded letter and envelope, Amazon mails thousands of simple but effective direct mail offers for Amazon Music trials. These offers direct consumers to the Amazon website where they can quickly and easily sign up for the service. So why wouldn’t Amazon just email offers to account holders? Why use direct mail? Well, that’s easy, it’s because direct mail is more effective than email at getting the attention of their target audience. Direct mail open rates are up to 90%, compared with email open rates of 20 to 30%, and most consumers use multi-channels completing a purchase, spending on average 3x more than single-channel consumers. It’s no wonder the world’s largest online retailer is using direct mail to boost sales.

Amazon Uses Direct Mail

Some other interesting direct mail stats that drive these and other major Internet businesses to use direct mail:

  • Direct mail offers a 29% return on investment.
  • Integrated direct mail and email campaigns have up to 23% higher brand recall than email only.
  • Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than email.
  • 70% of consumers say direct mail is more personal than online interactions.
  • 76% of consumers say they trust ads they receive in the mail.

“Heading into a post-Covid year, 2022 marketing campaigns should also recognize that many people are looking to simpler, less overwhelming times and seeking more offline experiences,” says John Leonard, V.P. Sales and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management. It is unfathomable that people can open the average 121 emails they receive every day, and the remote workforce has meant that people are connected online more than at any time in history. With our email overwhelmingly cluttered with daily offers, our mailbox has become an offline distraction, and for many a reason to get outside. This year, more than ever, direct mail is more likely to drive consumer engagement and to motivate consumers to act on brand messaging. If the online giants are doing it, maybe it’s time to take another look.

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.

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