3 Ways to Use Direct Mail As A Catalyst for Digital Engagement

  • Feb 18, 2019
  • @ 08:46 AM

There’s no arguing it – digital marketing is today’s go-to medium, and rightfully so – it’s easy to use and efficient. However, it’s these same factors that are causing performance to hit a wall. While brands’ usage of digital marketing goes up, conversion rates are going down as email fatigue and ad blindness start to set in.

Direct mail, on the other hand doesn’t suffer these problems. With the growth of digital marketing’s popularity, direct mail has pivoted from being a traditional marketing tactic to unique and non-traditional. And it’s precisely this pivot that has made direct mail a growth channel in a digital first world.

In fact, seeing the opportunity direct mail provides, brands are increasingly leveraging its strengths to create a powerful mechanism for driving digital activity. How powerful? Integrated efforts that leverage both digital tactics and direct mail have been found to elicit 39% more attention than digital-only campaigns. 39%! Think about what that could mean for you.

Using Direct Mail as a Catalyst for Digital Engagement

Through tried-and-true tactics like personalized URLs and up-and-coming mechanisms like visual search technology, brands are using direct mail to drive digital engagements in new ways. Here are three strategies quickly growing in popularity.

1. Abandoned Cart RecoveryShopping Cart

The numbers are staggering. Approximately 7 out of 10 online shopping carts are abandoned, costing as much as $18 billion in lost revenue annually.

In an effort to convert abandoned carts, companies are relying on arguably the two most saturated digital channels – email and display retargeting. While these channels do earn a respectable 10-15% conversion rate, their ability to grow further is severely limited. The culprit? The same reasons brands are experiencing diminishing digital marketing returns – overcrowded inboxes and digital ad fatigue. 

Direct mail offers another avenue to remind shoppers of the items they left behind. With digital printing, not only can you deliver a physical touch point in as little as 48 hours, but that piece can be individually tailored. With the ability to include personalized copy, images of the items themselves and even a unique offer, direct mail is enticing individuals to return and complete their purchase.

To learn more about using direct mail in your abandoned cart recovery program, read Want More from Your Abandoned Cart Recovery Program? Add Direct Mail.

Retarget with DM Illustration - No Background2. Retarget Browse Activity

After years of being exposed to the banner ads that seemingly adorn every website and social media platform, display retargeting has become white noise, rendered virtually ineffective at what it was designed to do: convert.

While there are few positive words used today to describe display ads, 56% of Americans, on the other hand, say that they find receiving direct mail to be a “pleasure,” with 52% looking forward to seeing what they receive each day.

The strategy for employing direct mail to retarget website visitors is similar to that for recovering abandoned carts – through digital printing, brands can use information from an individual’s browsing history to send a targeted direct mail communication within 48 hours of their visit.

With 60% of individuals reportedly compelled to visit a brand’s website following the receipt of a direct mail piece, this offline channel is a powerful mechanism for turning browsing visitors into customers. 

We all know that a good cart recovery/retargeting strategy involves multiple touches. That said, the best opportunity for incorporating direct mail into these strategies is not as the first touch but the second or third. 

3. Reactivate Lapsed Contacts4 People2 - No Background

As the most used, and often primary mode of brand communication, email addresses are worth their weight in gold. This however, presents a problem as 74% of consumers report being overwhelmed by the number and frequency of emails hitting their inboxes each day.

So much so that consumers and email service providers alike are taking action. From individuals mass deleting ‘non-essential’ emails, code for marketing emails (I’ll admit it, I’m frequently guilty), to machine learning subsequently determining which emails actually get delivered to the inbox, lapsed contact lists are growing quickly. So, by action of your subscribers, intentional or not, and that of technology designed to make our lives easier, increasing numbers of people who at one time expressed interest are no longer receiving your messages.

With it being said to be 10x harder to create new interest than to nurture existing interest, reactivating lapsed contacts is nearly as important as recovering abandoned carts. Instead of sending an un-engaged contact yet another email they’ll ignore, or worse yet, won’t even receive, send a direct mail piece personalized to highlight their history with your company.

With no filters to prohibit delivery, a strong open rate averaging 66%, and a response rate of 9% – compared to email’s 18% and 1% respectively – direct mail is an effective way to usher lapsed contacts back into your funnel.

Are the wheels turning yet? With the ability to cut through the clutter and boasting response rates almost three times higher than all digital channels combined, there has never been a better time to integrate the physical layer of direct mail into your digital marketing activities.

If you have ideas you want to explore or simply want to know more about direct mail, contact us today. We’re happy to share our knowledge and discuss how we’ve helped other brands propel their digital marketing performance with direct mail.

Related Articles: 

3 Ways Direct Mail Packs A Serious Punch for Online-Only Brands

Overcoming the Challenges of Digital Advertising With Direct Mail



Written by Jeana Garms

Vice President, Marketing at SG360°. A seasoned marketer experienced in designing and executing omnichannel marketing campaigns that combine the spectrum of marketing channels to drive desired actions and achieve results.