As it turns out, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Advanced printing, targeting, and automated marketing technologies have revolutionized the capabilities of old-fashioned marketing channels like direct mail. With these modern enhancements, traditional channels are now more effective than ever at driving conversions in a digitally saturated market.
Nonetheless, it’s important to understand that each communication channel has its own strengths and weaknesses. Channel choice also greatly affects the way consumers respond and engage with your marketing content. As a result, the most effective communication strategy is one that integrates and combines channels to leverage individual strengths, while avoiding or mitigating each channel’s individual weakness.
Offering a new perspective on ‘old’ channels
Direct mail packs a punch in terms of its targeting abilities, measurability, and memorability. In fact, the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) reports direct mail campaigns that target their CRM database see an average response rate of approximately 5% and a 2.9% response rate for a prospect list. In comparison, digital channels (social media, email lists, paid search, display ads, etc.) have a combined response rate of 2.6%.
Direct mail helps to extend the life of more digitally focused campaign(s). Digital media is great for short-term, top-of-mind awareness. However, the physical interaction consumers have with direct mail helps remind and reinforce messaging from other touchpoints along the customer journey. Combining the two channel types (traditional and digital) creates a well-rounded campaign that stays in your consumers’ short-term and long-term memory.
Many consumers across the United States own, and keep, promotional items long after they receive them. A lot of promotional products’ value is in their staying power and their appeal – who doesn’t like a free gift? Across all promotional products, consumers keep them for an average of 8 months1.
When you include the fact that 63% of consumers who receive promo products typically give them to someone else when they are finished with them, the advertiser’s reach extends even farther2. Outside of paying customers, don’t forget to give promotional products to your employees. They’re the best people to represent your brand outside of the workplace because they know all about it.
Did you know something as simple as upgrading your company’s signage can increase sales? In a study conducted by The Signage Foundation, sign changes brought an average increase of 5% in weekly sales while lower performing stores saw weekly sales increase by as much as 15%3. Adding directional signage to particular areas of your business, signage before you turn into your business, and signage inside can help consumers quickly find you or know where to go when someone is not available.
- Signage Inside: Include signs to different departments inside (F&I, Service, Parts etc.) or to different buildings (Collision Center)
- Signage Outside: Turn here for ABC Dealership!
When comparing direct mail, promotional materials, and signage you may notice they all share the common trait of a long shelf-life or ‘staying power’. These materials are consumed much slower (especially when compared to digital) and often require physical interaction with the end-user making for a more memorable experience with your brand. Combining digital and traditional media provides the perfect strategy for a far-reaching message that generates both top-of-mind awareness and long-term memory of your content.
1-2 Advertising Specialty Institute, 2016: Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study
3 The Signage Foundation, Inc. The Economic Value of On-Premise Signage: https://bit.ly/2NdfQod