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INtelligent Direct: Three Competitive Advantages of Direct Mail Marketing

For a modern direct marketer, developing the best mix of channels to deliver your message is a critical part of the job. In print and online, there are countless options for executing an impactful, multi-channel campaign. By incorporating direct mail as a part of your strategy, you can give yourself a competitive advantage over your competition that is not using direct mail (or using it poorly). Let’s review three distinct competitive advantages of using direct mail.

Captured attention

I think we can all agree there is more noise than ever online. Email, social media and display ads are relentless. Trying to capture the attention of a customer or prospect is becoming increasingly difficult. With direct mail you have much less competition in the mailbox. Utilizing additional tactics to stand out in the mail will only help you separate yourself from the competition. Create a direct mail piece that demands attention by focusing on the creative design and messaging. Choose image(s) that will draw the reader’s eye immediately and write simple, easy to understand copy with a clear call to action and you will extend the time your target interacts with the piece.

A physical reminder

According to a recent study by TrueImpact, a Canadian neuromarketing firm, direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media, suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable. In addition, when participants were asked to cite the company name of an ad they had just seen, recall was 70% higher among those exposed to a direct mail piece (75%) than a digital ad (44%). Compared to digital marketing, a physical marketing message will have a longer life, allowing for future response.

Direct mail by its nature is a tangible reminder of your marketing message. Even if your customer or prospect is not inspired to react immediately, a physical mail piece can more easily be set aside or filed for future reference, or help improve brand recognition even after being tossed.

Keep your message less visible to your competition

Targeted direct mail is much less likely to reach your direct competitors than other channels. With direct mail you have much more power to control who sees your message or offer. Traditional advertising channels like outdoor billboards, radio or television may get you a greater number of impressions, but those mediums make it much easier for your competition to learn about your offers and react accordingly. A more targeted approach might be more strategic since it reduces the chances for your competition to react and counter. Depending on message or offer, more visibility may not always be a good thing.

Social media, search engine marketing or display ads may not have the universal exposure as traditional advertising, but your competition can more easily see and react to these ads versus the more private direct mail marketing. When privacy or sensitivity is important, direct mail gives you the best opportunity to control the reach of your message. As with any modern direct marketing campaign, utilizing a strategic mix of channels and messages will help drive the best response.

Trent Weber • November 9, 2018


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