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Direct Mail Remains a Potent Tool in the Digital Age

One common misconception is that traditional channels of marketing have become outdated. However, direct mail remains a potent tool.
One common misconception is that traditional channels of marketing have become outdated. However, direct mail remains a potent tool.

A common misconception among marketers is that with the advent of data-driven digital marketing such as social media advertising, email and SEO, more of the traditional channels of marketing have become outdated. However, with some of those modes such as direct mail, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, digital and data has even enhanced the effectiveness of them.

Marketers have employed direct mail for many decades. The medium works because of the direct physical touch it provides with prospective customers. That has become more true than ever thanks to digital. Social ads or emails can be ignored. Direct mail can’t avoid at least looking at something that physically arrives at their doorstep. That fact has never been more important in our era of fractured attention and intense competition for impressions.

What’s more, digital and data have added a new dimension to the targeting capabilities of direct mail. You can even integrate it with other digital marketing strategies to multiply the effectiveness of a campaign.

So how should a marketer approach this medium in 2022 and beyond? Taradel is a leading platform that helps companies not only execute direct mail campaigns, but also combine it with their digital channels such as social media ads. Taradel’s CEO Jim Fitzgerald has shared insight into how a modern company leverages direct mail and the opportunities integration with digital provides.

What are some of the ways that small businesses often miss out by not leveraging direct mail?

Jim Fitzgerald: Direct Mail is the only truly invasive medium. Someone in the targeted household has to touch and look at the direct mail  marketing piece. As a result, this helps small businesses build local awareness and trust within their communities. The average consumer sees thousands of digital ads in a single day, but only receives a few pieces of marketing mail. Through physical contact a small business can stand out and deliver a tangible, meaningful experience that is free of distractions and next clicks.

How has digital or data analytics helped take direct mail to a new level of effectiveness?

Fitzgerald: Over the last decade, direct mail advertisers have benefited greatly from advancements in technology and analytics. Just like their digital counterparts, physical mail campaigns are now data-driven at every level. From audience targeting to creative decisions and performance tracking, advertisers use analytics to inform their decisions and maximize return on investment.

What are the ways that direct mail can be integrated into a digital campaign?

Fitzgerald: Advertisers are supplementing digital campaigns with direct mail to drive web traffic and initiate eCommerce transactions. A great example is Amazon’s massive ‘Share the Adventure’ Holiday Gift Book campaign. It’s 2022 and the largest eCommerce company on the planet is using print catalogs to bolster holiday sales. People love them, their kids are fighting over them, and they’re talking about them on neighborhood social media groups. Every scan, click, and transaction is integrated into their attribution processes.

How can it add value to an existing digital campaign?

Fitzgerald: Digital channels tend to be cost-efficient with regard to impressions and frequency but often struggle to stand out and deliver sufficient reach. On the other hand, physical mail has the potential to deliver total market coverage through a medium that drives higher purchase intent and brand recall. A Taradel study found that multichannel advertisers averaged 38% more conversions with only a 14% budget increase. Digital and direct mail work better, together.

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