4 Reasons to Use Direct Mail
When you work in direct mail, like I do, it means spending some time defending your business. I can’t tell you how often people tell me things such as, “I don’t ever buy things through mail,” “Big businesses don’t do that anymore,” and “But isn’t email more popular?”
It’s undeniable that technology has changed the direct marketing industry. However, it has not irreparably damaged direct mail marketing. To the contrary, direct mail has been enhanced by web technologies in many ways. Direct mail is great at getting leads to visit a webpage, encouraging customers to buy online or collecting information (including email addresses!) from prospects.
Rest assured that direct mail isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. To prove it, here are four reasons why you should use direct mail in place of email to get the best results.
1. Inbox overload
How many emails do you get a day? How many do you read a day? I would bet that the first answer is higher than the second. The fact is that most of us get many more emails than we want to read — or are even capable of reading.
So what happens to it? Well, when your prospects finally get around to their inbox they’re likely to just “Select All” and “Delete.” Say goodbye to any good your sales message might have done. Sending it was a waste.
Sure, you could argue that people throw away physical mail too, but the numbers are in favor of direct mail here. A study by Epsilon showed that 77 percent of consumers sort through their physical mail as soon as they get it. Even better, data from the U.S. Postal Service showed that 98 percent of people check their mail daily. That means a lot less “back up” in the physical mail box and a much better chance for your sales piece to get read.
Email might have changed the marketing environment for good, but you can use that change to your advantage. Let other businesses focus on email marketing. Let them sludge through the massive inbox overload that everyone is experiencing. In the meantime, there is not nearly as much competition in your standard mailbox — and that’s where you should be aiming your sales messages.
2. The personal touch
Getting the letter past the garbage shoot is just the first step. You need your sales piece to connect with your customers on a personal level. Unless you plan to take up door-to-door sales, you’re not going to get any closer to your prospects than direct mail. With a strong sales piece, you will walk right into their home, sit down at their dining room table and pitch your product with expertise that only you can deliver.
You just can’t achieve those same results with an email. When your prospects are reading their email, they may have a dozen other things going on as well. They have notifications going off in the background letting them know 20 new emails just arrived in their inbox, or they have a new Facebook or Twitter post to look at. All the while, your email is like a tiny little voice, trying to peep in for some attention.
Does that sound like personal contact to you?
In the age of multitasking, computer users are by far the most distracted. And that’s one reason why unsolicited emails get such little attention. Direct mail is all about talking directly to your prospects. Direct mail allows you to step right into prospects’ lives as soon as they open the piece. A strong sales piece meets your prospect’s train of thought and runs with it.
So take the chance to join your prospects at the table. Forget fighting for email space during a busy day and step in when they’re already taking a moment to themselves. Once they have your sales piece in their hand, it’s time to let the sales copy do its job.
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