3 Reasons Why You Should Incorporate Direct Mail Into Your Online Business

by Sarah Smith | eCommerce, eCommerce Fulfillment, Rakuten

Direct mail is, without a doubt, one of the most ignored aspects of marketing for online businesses.

Yet it offers tremendous potential for conversions and sales for almost any kind of product.

Let’s assume you have been keeping up to date on the latest marketing news, from this blog and from others.

If you have, you’re undoubtly utilizing social media and e-mail to engage with your customers. Maybe you’ve optimized your site for SEO, actively use PPC ads, and have designed an intuitive and attractive website.  Landing pages, promotions, and discount tickets are all part of your repertoire.

So now what?

Consider direct mail, one of the single most powerful ways of getting your material in front of potential customers. Even ten years ago, it would be unthinkable for someone to call themselves a well-rounded marketer without knowing how to execute a direct mail campaign.

Today, we have a plethora of tools that didn’t exist a few years ago, especially e-mail, and this has relegated direct mail to the backburner. Some self-styled “gurus” even call it an obsolete discipline. After all, if you run an online business and all your customers are online, isn’t e-mail the only way to go?

Not exactly. Here are three reasons why direct mail is still relevant in today’s digital landscape.

People don’t change.

Tools change and technologies change all the time. But human nature never does. The same methods of persuasion that have been taught to marketers for generations: limited-time offers, testimonials, and  exclusive offers, work through all mediums. Whether it’s a late night TV infomercial, a promotional e-mail, or a piece of direct mail, an offer that is effective in one marketing channel will be effective in others. It doesn’t matter if your customers need to use the internet to access your services, if an offer works in e-mail, it will work in direct-mail. This allows you to run proven, effective e-mail campaigns in print format, and hit target markets you otherwise would not be able to reach.

Direct Mail Gets You In Front of People You Normally Wouldn’t

Direct mail is an interesting marketing channel because you can be incredibly creative with it. E-mails are limited by e-mail client compatibilities and hosts of other factors. Direct mail is only limited by what you are willing to spend, and how creative you are with the size and design. Why does direct mail hit segments that you normally wouldn’t be able to reach?

For one thing, direct mail is physically there in front of you. Unlike e-mail, which you can just ignore, you must take actively take time to remove direct mail from your presence. That means most people who get a piece of direct mail will at least see the headline, as well as hold it in their hands. Consider the fact that not everyone checks their e-mail, but almost everyone checks their mail at one point or another. This might annoy people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer, but if you can accurately target your market, it’ll be far more effective than e-mail.

There is a downside to this. Direct mailing is more expensive than e-mailing prospective customers because of postage and printing costs. But the upsides outweigh the downsides in most cases. A good direct mail campaign can increase traffic, sales, and conversions.

It’s an Underused Medium

Many marketers new to the field have dismissed direct mail as a relic of the past. That’s good news for you, because not only are they wrong, it also means less people will be using direct mail. That gives you a key advantage over the competition.  People will not expect to see your brand on their kitchen table, and that’s partly why it can be very effective.

Like all forms of marketing, it’s incredibly important to know who you are marketing to, and know how to do it right. Make your offer attractive, make the copy compelling, and send it to the right people. You might be surprised at the results.

Have you ever tried direct mail for your online business?