In today’s digital age, research shows that consumers are beginning to show signs of digital fatigue. Look at your own email. How many promotional messages and marketing emails do you receive on a daily basis? More than likely, quite a few.
Use this opportunity to increase your brand exposure and acquire new customers with good, old-fashioned print advertising and direct mail. These advertising vehicles offer very effective ways for your business to rise above the digital noise.
How Print Advertising and Direct Mail Drive Sales
1. Breaks Through Digital Noise
As of February 2017, the Radicati Group estimated that there are 3.7 billion email users worldwide and around 269 billion emails sent daily. The Radicati Group’s research from 2014 showed that business users sent or received, on average, 121 emails daily. Talk about email overload. That number is expected to rise to 141 by 2018. With Americans being exposed to around 5,000 ads per day, up from 500 ads per day in the ‘70s, and a large amount of those being digital, print and direct mail can cut through the digital noise to drive sales.
2. Elicits a Strong Emotional Reaction
With less physical mail hitting the mailbox than the number of emails that hit your inbox, consumers might actually enjoy checking their physical mail as opposed to their email. A Gallup Poll shows that 41 percent of Americans look forward to checking their mailboxes on a daily basis. It’s not just the older demographics, either. In fact, 36 percent of Americans under the age of 30 share this sentiment. Statistics also show that people have a strong emotional reaction to receiving mail. 27 percent of people who enjoy checking their mail have a positive reaction to receiving an advertising card or flyer.
The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General conducted a study with Temple University’s Center of Neural Decision Making that focuses on the responses to digital and physical media in the buying process, which included the intent to purchase. This study found that participants spend more time with physical ads and had a stronger emotional response. They also remembered the physical ads better. The physical ads had a longer lasting impact for easy recall when purchasing, and they triggered the area of the brain responsible for value and desirability of featured products, which can signal greater intent to purchase.
3. Supports Digital Efforts
Print advertising and direct mail can work alongside digital marketing in a supporting role. As a small business owner, you could include your social media channels on your printed materials explaining the benefits of connecting on your social media channels. Mentioning your social channels on printed materials is one way to bridge the gap between print and digital.
Another way you can use print to support your digital marketing efforts is by providing an offer and driving consumers to a high-value lead magnet online. Verizon and Motorola ran a campaign with a call to action on their direct mail promotion that drove consumers to a landing page by scanning a QR code where they could enter to win Super Bowl tickets. The companies then used the entry information to move consumers through their sales process.
4. Strengthens Branding
Given that 70 percent of people who receive direct mail and print advertising open it, and 79 percent of it is read for a minute or more, it’s an excellent method for strengthening your brand and keeps your TOMA (Top of Mind Awareness) high. A business could stay top of mind by sending direct mail to 1,000 people every 2-3 months for 3-4 years. This would be more effective than sending direct mail to 100,000 people one time.
As part of your strategy though, it’s imperative that you keep a few things in mind, like the colors you use on your mailings; a firm understanding of your demographics; and consistency. If you’re mindful of these factors, you will be well on your way to strengthening your brand awareness.
5. Direct Mail is Engaging
With the right content, direct mail can be incredibly engaging. Businesses can personalize a message, share information that’s relevant, and customize it to fit a specific target audience.
Consumers want to feel special and print advertising campaigns can make that happen. While it may be easier to send messages to an audience with a generic greeting, a personalized, targeted piece would garner more appreciation and response. In fact, research shows that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to open a direct mail piece if it’s personalized. That same research shows that 44 percent of people will immediately discard a mailer if it’s not relevant to them.
6. Establishes Trust
Research shows that print advertising and direct mail are perceived as more trustworthy sources. Although we live in a digital-driven world, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people always believe what they read and see in the digital realm. There’s a certain trust that comes along with print. In fact, 88 percent of Millennials find that something printed on paper is more official than digital. To further drive home the point, 82 percent of Millennials view messages printed on paper as more trustworthy than digital messages. It’s also worth noting that half of the Millennials ignore digital ads.
7. Evokes Response and Engagement
Print advertising and direct mail encourage consumers to respond and engage. The response rate for direct mail is 3.7%, while other means lag behind:
- Email: 0.2%
- Paid Search 0.1%
- Other digital channels like mobile and social media display ads: 0.32%
Direct mail drives consumer purchase behavior. Results of direct mail efforts include:
- 55% of consumers visited a physical store
- 54% percent visited a website
- 45% acknowledged that direct mail led to a purchase
As mentioned earlier, the positive emotional reaction to direct mail leads consumers to remember the physical ads better, which have an extended impact for easy recall when purchasing. They trigger the area of the brain responsible for value and desirability of featured products, which can signal greater intent to purchase.
Here are some direct mail offers that are most responded to:
- Buy One Get One Free (57%)
- Gift Card (55%)
- Percent Off Total Purchase (51%)
- Free Gift (38%)
- Percentage of a Single Item (35%)
- Everyday Lowest Price (32%)
- Free Shipping (31%)
- Birthday Offer (28%)
In an age of digital overload, the reasons mentioned above show why print advertising and digital mail still have a big impact on driving sales. There are many reasons to utilize these tactics in your small business marketing strategy to elicit response and drive sales.
Try Print Advertising & Direct Mail Today
Now that you’ve learned about how print advertising and direct mail can help your business drive sales, it’s time to put this information to work.
- Download the free “Small Business Guide to Building an Effective Marketing Strategy.”
- Set the target audience you desire to reach with your print advertising and direct mail
- Plan your campaign and ensure your messaging, branding and all creative aspects speak to the target audienc
- Develop a strong call-to-action which incorporates digital engagement with the consumer
- Personalize your message to capture the consumer’s attention
- Track and analyze your efforts to determine success and effectiveness in driving sales
Valpak has been an industry leader in direct mail marketing for over 50 years. If you need help establishing a print and direct mail campaign for your small business, be sure to contact your local Valpak representative and let us introduce you to your neighborhood.