Direct Mail Drives Online Traffic and Brings Buyers to Your Web Site
Often thought of as an acquisition pipeline for individuals that are direct mail responsive only, the post office and the mail they carry are now driving consumers online in huge numbers.
It’s proven fact that catalogers see most of their online sales generated from direct mail solicitations to consumers. The ease of showing all the latest products via print still seems to be one of the most effective ways to remind consumers of new lines, styles, and product offerings.
While 70–80% of all sales from a direct catalog marketer come from transactions placed on their web sites for any given marketing effort, it also turns out that the people buying online are primarily driven by direct mail solicitations. It’s one of the main reasons that catalog direct mail has continued to grow on an annual basis for the last several years, even with the transactions taking place at the web site level. What’s even more interesting and telling about the power of direct mail for catalogers is that it’s also proven that if you give up on direct mail, you have to be willing to give up on client retention and new client acquisitions as well; they’ll simply go to your competitors.
Over the last few years, another phenomenon has been slowly developing in direct mail marketing. Marketers are using direct mail specifically because of its incredible ability to target their market and create awareness where perhaps none existed. The simple truth is that online marketing SEM, both organic and paid, is a wonderful way to attract new prospects and customers that are looking for your products and services. But that’s assuming they can find you and you rank high enough; it’s just as likely in today’s highly competitive online market that you will go unknown and unseen. Every day that you wake up and employ online marketing strategies, the cost to do so also rises. The competition for key word searches and the battle for top-line placement also becomes more intense, and prices to do so will only rise as more and more competitors develop online. It’s a trend that has no reason to change, and it’s only going to get worse and harder to compete.
Direct mail gives you the ability to say to your targeted prospects that you are open for business and that you have the products or services they want. You can still let your web site do all the heavy lifting of generating sales or leads, but when it comes to advertising, the mailbox is still the bull’s-eye of marketing done right; in fact, more and more marketers are turning to direct mail with their web site address on the solicitations as the only means to respond. As I see more and more of this type of marketing, it confirms what I’ve always known: that direct mail is the king of target marketing and works for driving return on investment (ROI) and customer acquisition, no matter what you sell.