There’s an underlying feeling of uncertainty as businesses attempt to navigate the labyrinth that is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Many businesses, despite having adequately prepared, are still trying to work out how to encourage potential prospects to explicitly consent to receiving email marketing communications.
GDPR changed the game – and with data control and privacy in the hands of individuals, marketers are having to work harder and smarter to capture and retain consumer interest, or else fall to the compliance requirements of GDPR.
Some businesses, as a result, have had to fundamentally change their approach to outreach and communication with their prospects, instead returning to the “roots” of correspondence and leveraging simpler and more traditional methods.
And of these traditional methods, direct mail marketing is enjoying somewhat of a revival.
So what are the benefits – and why should you consider a direct mail marketing campaign?
1. A powerful format
A question often asked is, “does direct mail marketing still work?”
For many businesses and organisations – the true value of traditional direct mail has been forgotten over the years. Displaced by the immediacy and scalability of email, print was only ever used for the communication of important information and documents – if a business needed to a medium to deliver “engaging” and “creative” advertising, it was typically done via email marketing.
However, while email marketing has overtaken direct mail over the last decade, direct mail has remained a powerful and engaging format.
According to Royal Mail, direct mail “remains one of the most effective channels for connecting with customers and generating new leads”. Compared to TV and email, mail has a “stronger brand recall”, and “makes customers feel more valued”.
It also cuts through the noise inherent to email marketing – instead of competing with other emails for a prospect’s attention, direct mail marketing campaigns give businesses an opportunity to get their messages right into a prospect’s hands!
Mail has always been part of the marketing and even the modern marketing mix but in recent years has become grossly underutilised. GDPR has already led to a revival of direct mail as a format – and as businesses come to realise the clear benefits of its inclusion in their overall digital marketing strategy, it will continue to pay dividends. There’s also the fact that both the ICO and Royal Mail have stated that you “won’t need consent for postal marketing”, which means the legal basis of “legitimate interest” can be used instead.
2. Keeps brands and businesses front and centre
As consumers are buried under more and more emails – the number of daily emails sent and received is expected to rise to 333.2 billion by 2022 according to Statista – businesses will need to look at alternative channels to cut through the noise and keep themselves front and centre.
While emails are deleted almost ritualistically by consumers – on average 51% of emails are deleted within two seconds – direct mail messages and advertisements are kept for considerably longer.
According to the Royal Mail, advertising mail is kept in the household for an average of 17 days. What this means is that direct mail items have more opportunities to make an impact on a consumer than an email; it’s in the household, it can be seen, and it lasts a lot longer.
Also, the Royal Mail states that 92% of direct mail is opened, meaning that if businesses can get their mail in front of their consumers, they have a good chance of engaging with them.
3. Personalised and effective
As businesses begin to realise the clear benefits of direct mail initiatives – especially in a post-GDPR world – the level of investment in it and use of it will continue to increase. The fact is that we – all of us – have become desensitised to emails and adept at filtering out important emails from advertising.
Email marketing is far too impersonal. It’s easy to automate email sends at scale and consumers can recognise emails which have been distributed at bulk.
Direct mail is an opportunity for brands and businesses to reconnect with their customers and start to deliver more value. Used as part of the marketing mix, with consistent messaging and content, a direct mail marketing campaign can be highly effective at encouraging consumers to engage and converse with brands and businesses.
As mentioned previously, 92% of direct mail is opened – and 48% of UK adults took action after receiving direct mail last year states Royal Mail.
So It’s highly effective – and if leveraged correctly, can pay dividends for brands and businesses.
How can businesses take advantage of direct mail?
Of course, to deploy an effective direct mail marketing campaign businesses need the right tools and apparatus to scale the process. Direct mail is inherently slower than email but if done right, can deliver similar – if not better – results.
One piece of equipment businesses will no doubt need is an advanced, state-of-the-art high-volume or low-volume franking machine, the kind that we at DPS provide.
We provide both low and high-volume franking machines, as well as automatic mail feeders that require no manual input whatsoever. Simply add mail items to the feeder tray, select the required specifications and let the franking machine do the work.
In addition to automating the processing and franking of mail, our franking machines can print high-quality advertising messages and logos onto mail items, adding a professional finish that will help a business’ mail to stand out from the competition.
Direct mail is an amazing opportunity that’s unfolding right now and is certainly worth businesses reconsidering. The statistics alone show that direct mail marketing is here to stay!