You do realize that we no longer live in the stone ages, right? If so, why are you still using antiquated technologies such as paper? Sure, it served it’s purpose–but, times have changed! You don’t need to slaughter thousands of trees just to get your message out there!
I am making an announcement: snail mail marketing is dead! You read that correctly. Oh, and I have more to add. Mass-produced pamphlets are a waste of everyone’s time. Have you not heard of email? I’m sure there are many of you who will side with my perspective. For those of you that disagree, let me explain.
Email marketing vs. direct mail
- According a National DMA report, 89% of marketers consider email important to achieving their business goals. When someone receives a direct mail offer, they are usually in shock. Because they are no longer used to direct mail marketing. Then, what happens? You guessed it, the mail goes straight into the trash bin.
Most people won’t even bother to open it if they don’t know who it’s from. It starts to feel creepy that some random company has your home address anyway. Are they spying on you? Instead, email marketing can be used to send helpful and personalized content.
If you really can’t break up with direct mail marketing, I have some advice–keep it simple. You can use banners and packets for mid-funnel customers. Go ahead and pass out your business cards, but that is it. You really need to replace direct mail marketing with email marketing.
- Based on a study by the Radicati Group, around 1.9 billion non-spam emails are sent daily. That conveys two things: A. Marketers trust and use email. B. Consumers expect emails. This doesn’t mean that consumers want to open every email marketing piece they receive, but since they expect it, they will open the ones specifically tailored to their needs and interests.
Let me tell you, people are tired of getting misleading direct mail pieces with letters that read: “Time-sensitive account information.” You open them up, and they ask you to play with stickers or sign up for magazine subscriptions. Really? It seems it’s more time-sensitive for the company sending the piece than it is for me!
Instead, why not use a straightforward email with an attention-grabbing subject line? You can be explicit with regard to what consumers can expect inside the email. When they find the content matches the subject line, they start to trust your messages.
- Email is instant. There is a reason for the name snail mail. With so many proven automation tools at your fingertips, anyone can send compelling messages to their target markets. No need to worry about paying for postage, licking envelopes and licking stamps.
Moreover, you don’t have to print anything up. You don’t have to spend hundreds on ink and paper. You don’t have to hire a direct mail agency. You can send out a mass email with the click of a button. Want to know what makes this even better? You also get an immediate response.
If you have a call to action such as “Click here to learn more about this service” or something similar, you can get a response in seconds. Why wait weeks for people to reply via snail mail?
- It’s easier to measure email. You can’t determine how many people threw away your direct mail pieces or stored it away and forgot about it. Even if you do get responses, you can’t tell how many people even received your pieces in the first place.
People move, and sometimes, new tenants will return to sender–other times, they’ll just throw it away. That isn’t the case with email marketing. You can measure bounce rates, click-through-rates (CTRs) and more.
- You can send real time-sensitive offers. If you want to run a promotion next week, an email marketing blast can get that done for you. You can send digital coupons or links to Groupons that can be used immediately. That is one truly effective way of attracting the attention of prospects and loyal customers. This is especially true if you need purchases now, rather than later. Speaking of Groupons and coupons, that brings me to my next point.
Everyone loves to save money
You might have seen the TLC show “Extreme Couponing.” When the show made its debut, it became an overnight sensation. Audiences were blown away watching everyday people pay $10 for groceries totaling $700—or, something to that effect. Especially after the Great Recession, most of us wanted to try our hand at extreme couponing.
While both admirable and inspirational, it soon became evident that the people on the show spent 40 hours a week collecting coupons, organizing them and planning their shopping trips. They were saving anywhere from between 70 percent and 98 percent, but extreme couponing was a full time job. Dealing with stacks of coupon books and cutting out individual coupons is not my cup of tea. Is it yours?
Thankfully, we have digital coupons and Groupons. Online coupons are all the rage. In 2013 alone, 102.5 million people redeemed a digital coupon. Primary growth is now coming from mobile coupon users. Thankfully, coupons are no longer limited to the Sunday paper. People just don’t want to carry slips of paper around.
Make your digital coupons work for you
Email is the most significant means of distributing your coupons and Groupons. Most people don’t have the time, or the motivation, to search for coupons. Although, if they receive a notice through their inbox, many are likely to participate. They might not want to try your latest product or service at full price–but, they might be willing to give it an initial shot through a coupon.
When you have your customers’ and prospects’ email addresses you can consistently update them on your latest coupon offerings. Make it easy for them to redeem them digitally. In fact, you will only make things more difficult if you force them to print the coupons.
You also want to pay attention to detail. You need your coupons to stand out with full-color, eye-catching content. If you can, it is worth it to invest in a graphic designer who can give your coupons flair with a professional touch.
In addition, you should make them targeted. Don’t just send out your coupons to prospects who wouldn’t be interested in the first place. As a result, you must understand your target market and how to reach them.
As you can see, paper is dead. Email marketing is the only route to take. We live in the digital age; stop wasting your time on legacy systems. So, are you ready to prepare your next email blast?