Craig Johnstone / Feature Articles

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Finding a balance with Direct Marketing: Utilising email and direct mail in the digital age

Direct Mail and Email MarketingAs we have progressed further and further into the digital age, the way businesses connect with their customers has continued to change and adapt.

These days, most rely on email marketing to drive results, accounting for the ever increasing ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, however recent research conducted by Royal Mail suggests that despite this, customers still prefer direct mail to email in many cases.

As digital usage has increased, the value of direct mail has not only endured; it has continued to grow. Many customers would rather receive tangible mail they can keep around the house and interact with than impersonal emails, over half of which are deleted within 2 seconds of being opened, according to a 2013 study by Litmus email analytics.

Of course, direct mail and email serve different purposes, which make them more suitable for different situations. By ensuring that they’re using mail and email in a strategic way, marketers can more effectively drive action and sales.

Consumers these days transition from the real and online worlds often and without hassle, and businesses mirroring this behaviour will produce the best results. Sending direct mail to customers brings them to your websites and social media, encouraging them to connect with your business online and make purchases. If a piece of direct mail interests a customer, they can simply type your brand name into their browser. Research shows 86% of people have contacted an organisation online as a direct response to receiving a piece of mail.

In general direct mail is much more personal and fosters stronger engagement between the sender and recipient. Mail grabs attention and gives a better impression than email, as well as making customers feel more valued. On the other hand, email is better suited for quick, informal correspondence that is easy to respond to. Email allows you to provide links to your websites and content, making it quick and easy for potential customers to make purchases from you.

To efficiently use both forms of mail in conjunction, follow up on purchases or interest generated by direct mail by contacting the recipient via email. Your emails are more likely to be opened and well received if an emotional engagement has been formed by the direct mail. Personalisation is key here, well-targeted and relevant content is important for welcoming and winning over customers.

Mail and email perform very different functions, and consumers understand this. It would be easy to assume that due to the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, customers find direct mail outmoded and old-fashioned. These days many customers are overwhelmed by the levels of digital communication thrown at them, and the barrage of emails flooding their inboxes only serves to further emphasise the significance of physical mail. And not only does direct mail make customers feel valued, it creates value: according to Royal Mail, 27% more campaigns that delivered high sales performance included mail than did not.

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At Mulberry Square, our marketing services team have a wealth of experience in effectively utilising email marketing and direct mail to help drive strong customer relationships and increased sales or enquiries for our clients. If you need any help or advice with reaching your customers, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0116 237 4603.

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