The relevance of direct mail is determined by the level of creativity, context and value. There is a tremendous opportunity to provide a special experience at the mailbox. Think of the happiness you feel when you get a card from a loved one, or excitement when opening a gift, or curiosity when getting a bulky package. Unlike digital marketing, direct mail can captivate using our senses of touch, smell, and taste in addition to sight and sound.
So, how can we get our message onto the shelf and not into the shredder?
Creativity gets you in the door. Creativity makes you stand out. Creativity provides an experience.
Creativity is problem solving and with direct mail, you need to solve a few problems to keep you relevant and deliver your message. In a study published by the HBR states, “A dollar invested in a highly creative ad campaign had, on average, nearly double the sales impact of a dollar spent on a non-creative campaign.” See full article.
Context makes it meaningful. Context makes it relevant. Context makes it personal.
The better you understand your target audience the more context you can include. Sending a picture of the exact car, color, and model you are considering buying the day after you visit a dealership, makes sense and can help drive you to the purchase. What do you know about the receiver? Can you personalize the message? Just don’t be creepy. Make sure the receiver understands how you know this about them!
Value makes it useful. Value gives it purpose. Value makes it desirable.
Whether you’re including a gift card, coupon or an umbrella make sure the receiver will see value. But remember, it's all about the one receiving the mail. It's not about you; it's about them. Make it all about them, their needs, their experience. At what stage in their relationship with your company are they? How much do they know about you? Are they expecting something from you? Knowing the answers to these questions helps your direct mail build value for the customer, and relevance for your message.
Direct mail is still very relevant in the digital age and you should be included it into your company's marketing mix.
Here are some additional links to articles on creative direct mail marketing you might enjoy!