Marketers are potentially missing out on building closer customer relationships – and boosting revenues – by failing to embrace the humble mailshot in their engagement strategies and relying too much on channels that consumers do not welcome.
So says the DMA’s latest ‘Customer Engagement’ research, which asked consumers and marketers for their opinions on the most effective marketing channels out of eight options: face-to-face, post, email, text, social, phone, messenger apps and online.
Standing head and shoulders above the rest is email, which is not only the most commonly used marketing channel, but also the most popular among consumers. Some 68% of marketers state that they use email to contact their customers, while nearly three-quarters of consumers (73%) state that email is their preferred contact option.
However, they are not as closely aligned when it comes to other marketing channels. Under a third (30%) of marketers state that they use post to contact customers, whereas post is consumers’ second-most preferred marketing channel, with over two-fifths (41%) of consumers selecting it among their favourite ways for brands to contact them.
The report is not great news for telemarketers, however, with just 3% of consumers wanting to be contacted through this channel, even though a third of marketers (33%) persist in using “the blower”.
Even so, there are some clear opportunities for marketers to tap into these preferences to better engage their customers, the DMA claims.
According to the report, the top channels for marketers are email (68%), social (62%), onlne (41%), face-to-face (40%), phone (33%), text (32%, post (30%) and messenging apps (17%).
Meanwhile, the rundown of the channels which consumers prefer is email (73%), post (41%), social (22%), text (22%), online (18%), face-to-face (13%), messenger apps (5%), and phone (3%).
Looking to the immediate future, roughly the same proportion of marketers saw budget limitations (44%) and people’s desire for human interaction (43%) as the main barriers to better customer engagement. The latter point was more pronounced by B2B marketers.
DMA head of insight Tim Bond said: “Consumers are clearly receptive to new ways for brands to communicate with them, as long as it is convenient, personable and relevant. The plethora of marketing channels now available to marketers means that not only is it essential to get the balance, timing and combination right, they should not overlook more traditional methods that competitors may have started to neglect.
“Successful brands will be those that can truly put their customers’ needs and preferences first. By understanding their contact preferences, brands can offer customers the right opportunities at the right time.”
Royal Mail expands DIY direct mail to digital marketing
Consumers find direct mail more relevant since GDPR
Royal Mail urged to do more to counter direct mail fall
Royal Mail tests new GDPR swerving direct mail scheme
Direct mail comes out of silo with Jicmail audit launch
Direct mail rivals bury the hatchet for industry accord
New scheme aims to woo first time clients to direct mail