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It is important to maintain a marketing mix that fits within today's online world, but you must also realize that some customers prefer to be contacted by more traditional channels, including direct mail. When customers are contacted by their preferred channel, they tend to respond positively and reciprocate with increased spending. On the other hand, customers may react negatively to too much repeated marketing contact... they may toss away email or junk mail, and hang up on telephone solicitors. In short, they stop spending.
Enough is Enough! The Fine Line in Executing Multichannel Relational Communication, a report in the Journal of Marketing, July 2011 (Andrea Godfrey, Kathleen Seiders, Glenn Voss) studied the relationship between the combination of email, telephone and direct mail communications at a large automobile dealership with a high-volume service department. The researchers proposed that customer spending increases up to an ideal frequency of communications (the principal of reciprocity), and then drops off once that ideal level is reached (reactance theory). They particularly wanted to discover the interaction of the different channels of communication on reciprocity and reactance.
The results indicated that there is a fine line between reciprocity and reactance in multichannel communication. They found that the ideal number of communications in one channel decreases as communication volume in another channel increases. This effect is muted if customers feel they can control and avoid exposure to the message. In this respect, customers are most tolerant of postal mail. The report illustrates that the automobile dealership's customers were "far more responsive to mail contacts than to either telephone or e-mail contacts."
"Customer spending is highest in response to a strategy that combines an equal number of telephone and mail contacts (but no e-mail) peaking at nearly $300..."
"Managers should carefully identify which channels are most effective in reaching their customers and avoid the assumption that different communication channels exert equivalent effects."
The Journal of Marketing, July 2011
Despite the prevalence of email and digital marketing, and contrary to the image that direct mail is ‘junk mail’ and is tossed without consideration, surveys continue to find that consumers still prefer direct mail when it comes to receiving marketing messages. Mail consistently out-ranks all other channels in terms of preferred method of receiving information. People sat they enjoy checking their postal mailbox, and find it more convenient than checking email. Most people feel they get too many emails in one day, and admit they get a lot of emails they don't open. The reasons respondents preferred postal mail over email include:
- Your message can be read when it is convenient. Your customer can read it when they want, refer back to it as needed and easily take it with them or pass it along to others.
- Your message is regarded as more trustworthy. Trust is an important factor when choosing the channel for your communications. Mail is considered trustworthy. Consumers prefer to get private information sent through the mail.
- Your marketing message reaches more people for relatively little money. A single salesperson, no matter how good he/she is, can only go so far. A well-written direct mail campaign can reach thousands. Let it do the selling for you, direct your customers to order by phone or from your Website, or prequalify appointments for your salespeople.
- You can target your prospect. Pinpoint your most likely customers by area, income, age, home ownership, occupation, automobiles, lifestyles, etc.
- You can see quickly whether or not it’s working. You’ll know within two weeks whether or not your campaign is working. Response rates vary depending on the offer, the quality of your list, and the effectiveness of your sales pitch. You can code your mail pieces to test the effectiveness of different variables.
- It’s “real.” Direct Mail gives you the best opportunity in advertising for a one-on-one moment to capture your prospect's attention. Even if it is ultimately bound for the circular file, your customer sees it, touches it, and reacts to it. So make it worth their while to read your offer.
With Every Door Direct Mail® service from the U.S. Postal Service®, you can reach the customers who matter the most to your business in nearby neighborhoods. You don't even need to know names or street addresses. Simply identify the neighborhoods you want to target and your printed piece is delivered to every active address in your target area.
Demographic filters, such as age, household income and size, allow your mailings to be even more targeted to the customers you want to reach. You can use the convenient online tool usps.com/everydoordirectmail to identify your target area and see how many businesses and homes are within that area or the radius of a specific location.
- Your marketing message reaches your customers in their homes. You can target customers in specific geographic areas by ZIP Code, neighborhood or delivery routes without the time or expense required to compile a list of names and addresses.
- Every Door Direct Mail service offers a flexible range of sizes, making it ideal for anything from a quick sales announcement to an in-depth product story.
- Your message works harder. Customers say they pay closer attention to information they receive by postal mail. Mail continues to be the best choice for communications that are detailed or complex. You can include maps, coupon, menus, and other details about your business.
Direct mail gives you the best opportunity in advertising for a one-on-one moment to capture your prospect's attention. Your customer sees it, touches it, and reacts to it. Make sure you make a good impression.
- Pique your customer's curiosity. Put something in the envelope that makes it feel lumpy so that it gets opened.
- Write a Great Headline. If your headline doesn’t capture a reader’s attention, it doesn’t matter what else you’ve written, it won’t get read. The reason is simple, your prospect will decide whether or not to keep reading based on your headline. Write a lot of headlines and read them out loud. ProGraphics has a file of tried and true headlines. We'll help you get it right. Call us.
- Personalize your message. Address your customer by name. Write your copy as if you are talking to a friend. Use short words and sentences. Use the words “you” and “yours” a lot.
- Write about benefits, not features. Identify and write about what your customer needs and wants, not what you do. Your prospect doesn’t care about your company, except how you can help him.
- Make a clear offer of value. Give the reader something. Make it worth their while to read your offer. Give them a great deal, advice, education or amusement.
- Ask for action. Always ask your customers to order, call, or come in… the sooner the better. Offer incentives and deadlines to act immediately.
- Advertise regularly. Repeat Mailing = Increased Response. Give your target market time to hear, recognize, and trust you and your offer. Keep your message consistent.