I get asked this all the time:
Does direct mail still work for small businesses?
It’s a fair question.
After all, when I started PostcardMania back in 1998, NO ONE was using the internet for business (or anything, really.)
With the internet in our back pockets today, you may wonder if direct mail even has a place in marketing your business anymore — since Google and Facebook seem to be everywhere.
Here’s the truth:
Direct mail is NOT dead.
In fact, even though it may seem old-school, direct mail is actually getting MORE response from consumers than any other marketing method — including online ads and email.
Here’s what I mean:
People are bombarded with marketing more now than ever before.
Some digital marketing experts suggest that consumers see anywhere from 4,000 to possibly 10,000 ads every day.
Consider these statistics:
- 5% of the U.S. population uses the internet
- People spend 50 minutes every day on Facebook
- Over 3 HOURS per day are spent on mobile apps.
People are simply overwhelmed. There’s just a TON of noise out there. And because we’re on some form of the internet almost constantly, most of that noise comes from the digital realm.
Here’s why this matters:
I want you to succeed at marketing and growing your business, and you need to know this:
Direct mail is actually more effective now than ever before, because it stands apart from the flood of online communication we all deal with daily. I found some surprising statistics on marketing (that I share below), and what they point to is this:
You HAVE to include direct mail in your strategy in addition to digital marketing strategies.
It’s not one OR the other anymore.
You need both direct mail and digital to work together to market your business so that:
- it’s seen ENOUGH,
- by ENOUGH people,
- and you get a steady stream of leads.
If you’ve ever had the thought that maybe direct mail isn’t right for your marketing strategy, consider these statistics I found recently:
1. 70% of consumers feel more valued with direct mail
In 2007, 43% of people responded to surveys saying they felt more valued by companies who used direct mail, according to research.
This figure rose to 57% in 2013, and then to 70% in 2017!
That’s a 62.7% increase in 10 years!
Why is this?
Again, people are bombarded with digital communications, BUT —
When you send direct mail, it’s a communication like:
“We care about you enough to spend money on ink, paper, and postage because you’re important to our business!”
Your prospects and customers are more likely to hang onto a direct mail piece, especially when they see a special offer that seems like a steal.
Like this one:
See the special offers?
It’s hard to miss them, since they’re designed to be coupons!
The dotted-lines immediately convey COUPON, which means SAVING MONEY!
Who doesn’t want their house cleaned AND the chance to save money??
I don’t know about you, but it’s REALLY easy for me to click “delete” on an email I don’t feel like reading…
Especially when my inbox is already spilling over with emails, both wanted and unwanted.
When you send a postcard to your prospect or customer, they feel valued.
You automatically stand out from the businesses blindly blasting promotion day in and day out.
Which brings me to this next point…
2. Direct mail has a 783% better response rate than email for customer lists
In fact, direct mail’s response rates just keep climbing year after year.
Direct mail’s response rate for 2016 is 43% higher than 2015!
Direct mail’s response rate puts that of email marketing to shame.
Email generates a .6% response rate for customer lists and only .3% for new prospects, according to the 2016 Data & Marketing Association Report.
But look at direct mail’s response rates:
So email marketing is not the best way to generate new leads for your business.
At every event I speak, I always ask how many people actually LIKE getting emails from businesses they don’t know.
ZERO people raise their hands.
So sending emails to brand new prospects will not only get people hitting “unsubscribe,” but it’ll make your prospects generally annoyed at your business —
And that’s NOT the impression you want with your marketing!
BUT I will say this:
Email is GREAT as a follow-up tool.
Once you’ve acquired a lead (say they get your postcard, then visit your website and sign up for your newsletter — this is a genuinely interested lead), you can use email marketing to continue to follow up with them (affordably!) until they close.
This consistent contact and repetitive follow up reminds prospects who you are.
So when they’re ready to buy your products and services, they’ll remember your business!
Your business NEEDS consistent follow-up to close more sales, period.
3. Email has experienced a 65% decrease in click-through rates
An email’s click-through rate is determined by how many people look at your email and click on its content. Usually a good click-through rates means people are interested in what you’re sending them.
So, here’s the deal:
ANYONE can email blast you, whether you want them to or not.
So it’s no surprise that there’s a 65% decrease in how many people click on emails they receive.
Which makes sense considering that 88% of the email sent in 2016 was JUST for marketing purposes!
People don’t look forward to having their inbox invaded and taken over by shotgun promotion and marketing. (The “spray and pray” approach.) So people are starting to dread their email inbox!
How many people do you know with an inbox full of 14,739 messages?
And they say, “It isn’t worth my time to delete them all.”
That’s because more and more people consider their inbox to be a deadzone of nothing but junk!
Consumers today want the communication they receive to be relevant to their needs and wants, and to come from a business they know, like and trust with their email address.
So as large corporations continue to blast their message into inboxes far and wide around the nation, this is happening:
You have a WIDE OPEN opportunity as a small business owner.
Using direct mail in your marketing strategy will automatically make you stand out!
With direct mail, you can personalize each and every postcard with your prospect’s first name — like with personalized postcards — making your postcards jump out of the mail stack immediately.
You can even make postcards FUN to receive —
Like make them scratch-off games, for example:
If you’re marketing consistently enough to the same audience (I recommend at least every month or every other month), your business WON’T be drowned out by your competition, and you’re more likely to be seen and remembered.
By the way:
In NO way did I write this article to minimize the importance of digital marketing —
I’m saying explicitly that you do need to market your business online…
But you CANNOT ignore direct mail in lieu of digital marketing because:
- It’s more likely to generate a response (Calls! Leads!)
- Customers trust direct mail more…
- Which means they will trust YOUR business more!
And people buy from businesses they like and trust.
Again, you have a HUGE opportunity, as research suggests some businesses will be using direct mail less in the future (crazy!) which means YOU can dominate the marketing channel which gets the best response rate.
I’ve talked about the concept of “outflow” in marketing — meaning the amount of communication you send out promoting your business.
Today, more than ever, you need to outflow a LOT, and this means taking advantage of all appropriate marketing channels, not just 1 or 2.
AND 2018 will creep up before we know it (hard to believe, I know!), so I want you to know which marketing strategies actually deserve your time (and money)…
That way you waste ZERO time planning your 2018 marketing campaign.
We recognized the need for small business owners to market across multiple channels, but we also realized that this can get overwhelming FAST, especially when you’re already balancing marketing with multiple other business functions (maybe even all of them).
That’s why we created a solution for you, to help make your marketing MUCH easier.
It’s an automated, all-in-one program that puts your marketing message in front of the right consumers on all of the most proven marketing channels.
We named this program Everywhere Small Business because it does what it says:
It puts your business EVERYWHERE it needs to be to get your marketing message seen.
Here’s how it works:
We help you identify and target the best audience for your product or service.
We plan a direct mail campaign for you based on the results of 76,438 clients.
Once you sign off on the plan, we design, print and mail your postcards for you.
Then we get to work on the online marketing phase of your campaign.
We design and run online ads that MATCH your postcard on Google’s vast network of websites, which greatly amplifies the reach and the impression your message makes.
We design and run Facebook ads for you that coordinate with your Google ads AND postcards, amplifying your reach even further!
Your business will seem like it’s EVERYWHERE!
Everything is coordinated to match (design, special offer) so that everyone knows and everything is done for you.
We track the following for you:
- The date your postcards hit mailboxes
- How many people call your business from your marketing (via a special phone number) — AND we record these calls so you can check in on your sales processes and improve them
- How many people click on your Google AND Facebook ads
- The number of people who get shown your online ads (aka impressions)
You don’t lift a finger or have to figure ANY of this out…
And your business’s marketing message gets seen here:
- At home, when they’re relaxed and ready to go through their mail
- On countless websites (including some huge websites that would surprise you!)
- On Facebook, the world’s fastest-growing social network
The best part?
It’s only pennies more per piece than a traditional postcard campaign!
I really wanted to make this program easy and affordable for small business owners, because helping YOU grow and expand is my passion.
If you need any help with your 2018 marketing, don’t hesitate to call one of my marketing consultants at 800-628-1804. They’ll answer any questions you have about your marketing and explain Everywhere Small Business to you further if wanted.
Or, you can always email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, too!
Happy Holidays from All of Us!
P.S. Still need to send out your company’s holiday cards?? Check out our holiday designs for some cheery inspiration from us!