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Contact Quality News > Direct Marketing

Direct mail stands out amid a digital overload

In a digital world, where consumers are spoiled for choices in terms of media channels, turning to more traditional methods of communication such as direct mail can be a powerful way to grab your audience's attention.

AccurateLeads noted in a recent release that more businesses are realizing this fact, citing research from the Direct Marketers Association that put direct mail expenditures at more than $50 billion last year. The DMA also predicted that those sales would increase at a 2.3 percent rate for two more years, adding to the 4.6 percent industry gain seen in 2011, AccurateLeads said.

Rather than lose ground to emerging technologies such as online video and quick-response codes, direct mail actually serves to enhance and improve these methods. Businesses can make their outcomes even more effective with the use of interactive mail that features a personalized URL or a QR code, the company observed.

In addition to sending bills to customers who prefer receiving physical mail instead of email, businesses can stretch their budgets further by including direct marketing materials in the invoice envelope, AccurateLeads wrote. It's less likely that someone who receives invoices in the mail will go to a business' website, the company speculates, so consistently delivering your message in the form your customer prefers can contribute to higher satisfaction levels and a greater response.

Writing for MediaPost, David Goetzl notes that interactive TV (iTV) is an emerging marketing technology, which some in the marketing industry have hailed as the replacement to direct mail. However, he predicts that iTV won't be pushing the traditional channel out of the spotlight anytime soon, pointing to the less-than-impressive interaction rates that iTV has achieved so far.

"Even with the relatively low interaction rates, Comcast executives such as Michael Ortman - vice president of content strategy and operations, who presented the data - are enthusiastic about the potential growth of iTV advertising," Goetzl writes. "It is early days. And one theory holds that when a banner pops up inviting a viewer to take action, it increases engagement with an ad even if the viewer takes a pass."

For businesses looking to build a long-term, sustainable marketing strategy, it seems the best approach is to devise a plan that uses a mix of channels. In the short term, consider using a contact data quality solution to maintain up-to-date lists of customer addresses and track their individual preferences for receiving communication.

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