Direct marketing is dead.

Really? We’ve been hearing that for years, and the threat that digital will see the extinction of some elements of the marketing mix forever.

But Direct Marketing?

Let’s be clear about what we actually mean by direct marketing nowadays, in our highly digitalised world?

What is Direct Marketing?

For many, we picture a piece of direct mail sitting on a doormat, a promotional flyer or a free product catalogue.

Yes, direct mail is the quintessential form of direct marketing. Yet, direct marketing is so much more than that.

It is in fact all forms of marketing that communicate directly with customers – offline AND online.

In a traditional marketing world, yes direct mail is the ultimate form of direct marketing. Yet, with the arrival of digital marketing, we have merely increased the tools to communicate directly with customers, all alternative forms of Direct Marketing.

Here, are just some ways we can now easily communicate directly with our customers:

  • Email marketing
  • Sms marketing
  • Social media
  • Direct selling
  • Direct Mail
  • Brochures and catalogues
  • Direct-response marketing

Why direct mail is still very much alive

But let’s pause and talk specifically about Direct Mail itself.

Direct mail, the most traditional form of direct marketing, is most certainly not dead. And as a multi-sensory experience, for some products, services or customers, it’s still an important influencer.

The first obvious reason why it is still used is that it is physical. It sits on the doormat or kitchen work surface and gets your brand in front of your customer’s nose.

It can be used in a 3D format, incorporating built-in QR codes and augmented experiences.

It is also an important step in the digital customer journey as part of an integrated CRM strategy e.g. using follow up emails as prompts for action.

Top 3 tips for planning successful direct mail campaigns in 2021

  • Have clear objectives that sit within the whole marketing plan e.g. is the goal to use DM to connect with prospects?
  • Keep it simple with concise messaging, strong imagery, and a direct CTA that makes next steps obvious.
  • Integrate it with digital channels via a CRM system, such as email follow up, social media prompts or QR codes back to the website. Royal Mail have created a useful guide to successful direct mail campaigns.