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From: Jared Hamilton
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7 Reasons You Should Still Be Sending Direct Mail

Digital marketers everywhere have argued for years that direct mail is dead. In the auto industry specifically, dealers have been pushed towards digital medias like email, web, and social marketing. Although these digital channels are low-cost with instant response, it’s important to continue to supplement your digital marketing with direct mail.

To prove direct mail is alive and kicking, Advertising Age’s recent study reported direct mail spend will reach $48.3 billion in 2015. Even in the auto industry, NADA reported direct mail made up 10.7% of a dealership’s total advertising spend in 2014. As you can see, direct mail is not dead and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon. If you’ve abandoned direct mail in your marketing mix or need some help convincing yourself to get back in the direct mail game, here are seven reasons you should still be sending direct mail.

Get Noticed in the Mailbox
More and more businesses are opting for digital methods of marketing simply based on cost. This means these marketers are spending less on and sending fewer pieces of direct mail. With this recent drop in direct mail marketing, consumers are receiving less mail, which presents the perfect opportunity for your dealership to stand out and get noticed in the mailbox.

Too Much Email
Chances are your customers’ and prospects’ email inboxes are just like any other consumer – overcrowded and cluttered. It seems like nowadays everything comes in the form of an email, from personal communications to news updates, offers from retail outlets to spam and solicitations. The truth is consumers receive more emails than they’ll ever read. By sending direct mail, you can use the switch to digital to your advantage and not get your message lost in the overflowing inbox.

Deliver Tangible Marketing
One thing about digital marketing is the recipient receives nothing physical. With direct mail, you get to deliver an actual piece of marketing to the recipient they can literally hold. You get the option to deliver it in an envelope with high-quality graphics to increase its impact and get your piece noticed. Physical marketing tends to leave a better and more cognitive impression on the person receiving it.

Add a Personal Touch
Direct mail is an easy way to build relationships with customer and prospects. Not only is it perceived to be a direct message to the recipient, but it’s also assumed the sender spent an increased amount of time to deliver the message versus digital marketing which can be perceived as spam, unwanted, or very impersonal.

Build Trust
With the growing world of technology, consumers worry more and more about their privacy. Also, many consumers equate digital marketing with their fear of a scam, or worse, a virus. With direct mail, you don’t have these preconceived notions from consumers. They don’t have to worry about your direct mail piece possibly giving them a virus and can trust your marketing over a digital advertisement. Plus, direct mail is probably the most familiar marketing tool for consumers.

Increase Brand Recognition
According to the USPS, 98% of people retrieve their mail daily, and 77% of people sort it immediately, which means you develop brand recognition just by a recipient opening their mailbox and sorting their mail. Additionally, if your piece’s design sticks out in the stack of incoming mail, chances are your recipients will spend a few moments reviewing the contents.

Track Actual ROI
When leveraging digital marketing, it is very easy to track the recipients activity with the piece itself through impressions, clicks, tracking, etc., however, it can be hard to tie it directly back to return on investment. Depending on how you stage the offers in your direct mail campaign, you can track actual ROI. Meaning if your direct mail offer is unique and the recipient has to present it at time of purchase, you can see exactly what your ROI is for each piece.

If you’re one of the millions of marketers who has stopped delivering direct mail campaigns, your competition is probably thankful. Now is the time to get back into the direct mail game. Remember direct mail should not take the place of your digital efforts, just simply complement them.

Megan Barto
Great post - have you ever seen the meme of 1994 - E-Mail, YAY! Direct Mail - uugghhh 2015 - E-Mail UUGGGHH, Direct Mail - YAY, MAIL! I think that is applicable here!
Jason Stum
My favorite stat from this piece: "According to the USPS, 98% of people retrieve their mail daily, and 77% of people sort it immediately" Yes, almost everybody empty's the mailbox once a day. And can we agree that 'sort' means throwaway/recycle everything that's not a bill? ;) @Megan you need to find that meme and post a link. I've never seen it :)
Kristen Williams
@Megan & @Jason... thanks for your comments, they remind me how interesting and forever changing the world of marketing is. One day you've got it all figured out and the next your trying to play catch up to a new fad. Thanks again!

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