Marketing is Dead, Long Live Marketing
When you want to make an impact, should you plump for paper or go digital?
Your email inbox is the digital equivalent of your letterbox, so imagine being forced to sit on your doormat all day watching leaflet after leaflet stream through your door. It’s would be vile, but is essentially what happens via an email inbox.. It’s true that receiving an excess of unsolicited print, be it brochures, leaflets, catalogues or menus, is annoying but the quantity you receive is unlikely to be a patch on the number of promotional emails landing in your inbox - even after your SPAM filter has done its job. So which medium of communication should you choose to undertake?
In reality, there is no black and white decision to be made here. E-shots should not replace your existing marketing activity. They should add to existing pieces of communication so the good news is that you don’t have to choose between the two! The real question is not “is a direct mail campaign worth it”, but “how do I complement my direct mail?”
Using email as promotional communication provides you with clear and easy to analyse data. In a world that relies on the power of knowledge, this aspect is certainly attractive. Of course, you can gather statistics from your direct mail by including an offer code on your print, but this won’t cover all of those customers who use your information at a much later date from the leaflet that they stuck to their noticeboard all those months ago because it was visually striking.
You have lists for postal mailing and lists for e-mailing. They all must comply with data protection laws. When targeting individuals, they must be happy to receive your message. In addition to data protection tick boxes, this depends on your campaign research. It makes sense for you to present your message in front of those who are more likely to want to hear it. Simple really, and it’s a rule that applies to every medium conceivable.
Is There Anybody Out there?
When reaching out to your recipients, it is also important to identify new potential customers - geographically, socially or economically. Which is where research comes in again. When choosing door drops or street flyering, ensure that the area you have chosen houses a demographic that is likely to need your service or product. Similarly, if you buy a third party e-list there must be a link in that selection that makes it relevant to your business.
Reactivity is key for email marketing. You can seize the day much more readily than paper print allows. Direct mail can work in the opposite way; a leaflet or brochure sitting half hidden in a household for months before it is remembered and utilised.
With direct mail sitting in the realms of brand recognition and brand building, it is a tool that underpins other elements of your marketing campaigns. It is something that can work alongside email marketing to reinforce a brand in the awareness of a customer, and vice versa.
Imagine a scenario where a potential customer has seen your leaflet on their doorstep, or inside a local magazine. Not long after, they receive an email (having ticked a relevant box of course) and, because your business has recently featured in their awareness, they follow the links on offer despite the fact that they normally delete marketing emails. This is an ideal flow of activity showing the different focus of these two elements of the visual marketing process. Your product or service needs to have a physical presence somewhere, even if most of your work happens on the virtual plain. When it comes to making it visually striking, we are old hands!