Benefits of Direct Mail

Printed Product Apr 2020

What is Direct Mail?

Direct Mail is the activity of Marketing a product, service or cause via the medium of a mail piece which can be personalised to target your audience and achieve the best response rate. The format of this piece can vary widely from a letter and response envelope in an Outer envelope, through to a fully personalised variable one piece mailer. In essence, there is sure to be a format that meets your marketing requirements.

Based on decades of experience here at cdl, Direct Mail remains one of the most effective ways to stay in touch, communicate, and fund raise — even in a time of great uncertainty.

Despite reports to the contrary, statistics show that Direct mail is a proven and effective way to stay in touch with your clients and donors and help keep your business at the forefront of the target audiences’ thoughts.

Leading marketing experts have advised that businesses that continue Direct Mail campaigns during periods of crisis are typically more successful in the long term when compared to those that paused, stopped, or significantly altered communication. Don’t get caught in the headlights of the current crisis!

Why choose Direct Mail?

Direct mail is still a highly effective way to stay in touch with your clients and supporters and help keep your business at the forefront of client’s minds when things recover. And as most people are at home for the foreseeable future, it makes sense that direct mail should be seen as a first line communication tool.

Direct mail campaigns usually generate between 2-10% response rate on average, which is a far higher response than an equivalent email campaign.

It’s also important to remember that you want to maintain, at a minimum, your current and ongoing relationship with your clients so that when the crisis is over you still have the same level of engagement as before.

Here are some practical ways we believe this can be achieved in your direct mail campaign:

Keep the narrative relevant to now

The main message should always try to be relevant to your target audience. But we all find ourselves in an unprecedented crisis and to a certain extent many aspects of life will not return to ‘normal’ again for some time so to ignore this message will seem out of touch, and it would ultimately be a missed opportunity to demonstrate how your business provides innovative solutions in a difficult operating environment.

While the main objective of direct mail is to generate revenue, it is also important that we recognise the current situation we are in and this should be acknowledged and anything your business is doing to help those in need, so if your business is doing anything to help (i.e. donating to the NHS, or the local foodbank) this should be recognised within the content. An added benefit is that this also relinquishes any moral doubts the target audience may have in investing or donating at this time.

A change of strategy?

It’s important that we all re-evaluate who should receive your direct-mail appeals. When formulating your new campaigns, you may want to mail fewer low value clients and donors. But importantly marketing experts recommend that businesses do not stop marketing mailings but adjust their data selections to achieve greater response.

Regarding warm direct mail campaigns to current donors/clients, you should consider changing the profile of the client. For instance, perhaps mail to fewer low value clients and concentrate on High value.

Perhaps the most important point here is that you should not stop mailings or marketing generally. Alternatively, you should refine the target audience and modify your messaging, but not to the point where you lose your core message or brand that has worked in the past.

Consider digital fundraising and multi channel marketing campaigns

If you aren’t already, you could look at coordinating email campaigns (also something cdl are experienced with). People are currently at home engaging much more frequently than normal with the internet, TV and email. This gives you the opportunity to increase your engagement with a relevant and meaningful message through emails and social media. Our team here at cdl are happy to help manage this with you should you require further help.

It’s important not to just publish generic marketing content without recognising what is happening now and see if the same message principles can be applied to your digital marketing as you are with direct mail, you have an opportunity to engage at a level that any one channel alone will not be able to.

Final Thoughts

I think it’s clear we cannot pretend the current situation does not exist, but equally we need to make sure that overreacting to it would be an equally incorrect way to respond. We here at cdl recommend your direct mail strategy focuses on the following three points –

    • Keep your message clear and in line with your brand prior to COVID-19, but acknowledge that despite the current situation things will return to ‘normal’ at some stage and it is important to plan for this.
    • A much overlooked message is a simple ‘Thank You’ to your clients/donors for their ongoing custom and support as this has been a difficult period for your business, but one in which you value their loyalty to you.
    • In promoting projects or donations you have made to organisations that are helping fight COVID-19 within you marketing piece you will demonstrate to your clients that they should have no doubts about investing/donating to you at this time.

If you would like to find out more please contact the cdl Business Development Team on 01732 447 320 or email 

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