I, for one, was not surprised by the recent Brand Science research that direct mail can drive return on investment by up to 20 per cent as part of an integrated marketing campaign.
The research, based on measuring the marketing campaigns of 260 companies, reveals that direct mail is helping campaigns to deliver ever greater return on investment.
The study found that campaigns return on average £2.81 without direct mail, but £3.40 with it. What could send a clearer message to any marketer, or financial controller, that adding direct mail to campaign strategy is a must?
It found that direct mail works particularly well in adding value to digital and outdoor; helping digital payback on average 62 per cent more and outdoor 44 per cent more.
But why is direct mail able to add this increased value? It’s due to brands having increased access to, and making better use, of consumer data. This means marketers are increasingly delivering highly targeted and personalised direct mail campaigns.
And let’s not forget it’s also due to direct mail providing analogue stand out in an increasingly digital world.
After all, direct mail is able to deliver tangible, physical communication directly into the hands of consumers. And is the only channel to provide creative possibilities across sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Creatively leveraging one or more of these strengths can create exceptional impact, engender a strong consumer response and trigger the buying action.
What’s more, Royal Mail has just announced a new Advertising Mail product to ensure the cost of direct mail remains competitive for marketers considering where to spend their budget.
However, marketers must realise that they can’t just create and implement an integrated campaign and utilise direct mail as part of it with little thought and expect exceptional results. It takes conceptual thinking, careful planning and painstaking attention to detail to find the right balance of channels to reach increasingly fragmented audiences to make it work.
Achieving success depends on grouping media by campaign intention. For instance for an acquisition campaign using outdoor and press can be used to create interest, with online and direct mail serving as the conversion channels.
Marketers serious about delivering a campaign that optimises ROI must carefully consider the balance of media channels and how to successfully leverage the strengths of direct mail as part of it.
Mark Thomson is media director at Royal Mail