Direct Mail: Trick or Trust?

Print Lives On

 
In a study from Marketing Sherpa, 76% of surveyed consumers said they trust traditional advertising like direct mail over online channels such as pop up ads, banner ads, video posts and social media marketing. The results from this digital survey indicates that direct mail’s demise is not only premature, but utterly false. It’s no secret that marketing has been transformed by the digital age, and so has the expectations of consumers. So with digital marketers like us pushing to provide consumers with the latest, fastest consumer experience, why does a traditional offline marketing vehicle like direct mail still outperform most digital tactics? It all boils down to a matter of trust, as is true with all brand loyalty:
 
Making Honest Statements
Talk is cheap and the kiss of death for your brand, as with most relationships, is making promises you can’t keep. Make sure you can make good on what your direct mail pitch is. If your product or service is the fastest, most affordable, or highest quality on the market, by all means say so, but make sure you back it up with a 100% follow-through. Honest messaging can move mountains toward building trust with consumers.
 
Personalized
Personalized experiences with direct mail (variable data printing) has become highly sophisticated, making it easy to target mail messaging and offers directly to the individual based on their specific interests and buying behavior. Targeting consumers with highly relevant offers and information can go a long way toward increasing response rates and brand trust.
 
Invest in Professional Design
Dated color combinations and design looks, cheesy photos, clip art, too much copy, and overall sloppy composition can undermine even the most powerful message or tempting offer, and all of your investment dollars will have been wasted. The look and feel of your direct mail is as vital to your ROI as your mailing list. Design should reflect your brand and put digital-friendly recipients in the right emotional state that will motivate them to engage. If your direct mail design looks cheap, lazy, and outdated, what message are you sending about how you do business?
 
Powerful Direct Mail
A strong direct mail strategy combines acquisition and retention tactics, that’s personalized for target audiences. An effective direct mail piece should seek to do the following:
– Connects with personalized message
– Captures the recipient’s attention through imagery- (tying to holidays or events is powerful)
– Summarizes who you are and what you offer
– Lists benefits
– Offers special promotions and discounts
– Conveys a sense of urgency
– Strong call-to-action
 
People afford direct mail a higher level of authority because they trust what they can touch, feel and understand. If you can avoid undermining that trust with unrealistic claims, outdated design and impersonal copy, you can leverage it to generate immediate response and lasting loyalty.

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