Why Include Direct Mail In Optichannel Marketing?

Direct mail is highly effective on its own; however, when you combine it with other marketing channels, it gets even better. Demand Metric, in partnership with PFL, conducted a benchmark study. The optichannel marketing research is meant to understand the importance of multichannel marketing.

Direct mail is highly effective on its own; however, when you combine it with other marketing channels, it gets even better. Demand Metric, in partnership with PFL, conducted a benchmark study, “Multichannel Marketing Maximizing Program Engagement and ROI”. The optichannel marketing research is meant to understand the importance of multichannel marketing and the power of intentional, coordinated marketing efforts.

The goal of the study was to collect data to identify best practices and help marketers know how to reach specific audiences, and when to use particular tactics within their multichannel campaigns. The results indicate that direct mail needs to be a part of your optichannel marketing strategy.

Key findings:

  • When direct mail is personalized and tightly integrated into the channel mix and campaign technology: Average response rates improve significantly, with a 62% increase in those reporting good or very good response rates. The ROI of multichannel campaigns improves significantly, with an 80% increase in those reporting good or very good ROI.
  • Just over half of this study’s participants include direct mail in their multichannel campaigns, and 80% of them report that direct mail improves multichannel campaign performance.
  • The executive, or C-Suite, audience is the most sought after by study participants. Events and direct mail are the most effective channels to reach them.
  • While postcards are the most frequently used direct mail format, the dimensional format does the best job of representing the brand.
  • More channels produce higher response. Respondents using seven or more channels in their mix are 26% more likely to indicate their multichannel programs produce good or very good response.

Respondents use a multitude of channels that include:

  1. Email: 91% usage
  2. Social Media: 81% usage
  3. Events: 73% usage
  4. Display Ads/Remarketing: 60% usage
  5. Direct Mail: 56% usage
  6. Search/PPC: 51% usage
  7. Outbound Business Development/Sales Development: 47% usage
  8. Content Syndication: 35% usage
  9. Other: 5% usage

Most marketers are using between three and five channels on any given campaign, but results show that you should consider adding more channels. When marketers use seven or more channels, they report a 77% “very good” or “good” response rate. The report also found that marketers are not consistently using the most effective channels. The top three most effective channels are: events at 83%, integrated and personalized direct mail at 78%, and Search/PPC at 73%. What are you using?

Direct Mail Needs More Attention From Marketers

The report shows that marketers are most familiar with postcard and letter formats, and report that they use those formats most. Postcards are the least expensive direct mail format. Many marketers favor postcards because there is nothing to open: the message is easily visible. Dimensional mail formats are a close third in usage. This format includes pieces that are not flat, like the other types, but have an element of depth to them. A dimensional mail piece is often sent in boxes or tubes, and its very form invites opening it. These pieces evoke natural curiosity and tend to drive higher response rates. Have you tried dimensional mail?

According to study participants, direct mail clearly enhances multichannel campaign performance. In this study, 52% report a moderate to major improvement in campaign performance when direct mail is one of the channels. When direct mail is part of the channel mix, campaigns have slightly better response rates. Personalized direct mail generates significantly better response rates to multichannel campaigns. Are you using direct mail enough?

As you can see, adding direct mail to your optichannel marketing campaigns is significant. The more personalized and integrated it is, the better your response rate is going to be. Are you ready to get started with more personalized direct mail?

How Dimensional Mail Can Be an Impressive Direct Mail Strategy

Sometimes, direct mail marketing is really fun. Have you ever opened a can of worms? I did, and that dimensional mail really was a can of worms.

Sometimes, direct mail marketing is really fun. Have you ever opened a can of worms? I did, and that dimensional mail really was a can of worms.

I received a soup can in the mail about 25 years ago. It looked just like a Campbell’s soup can, but instead of chicken noodle soup it was labeled “Can of Worms.” If you didn’t look too closely, you would swear it was a real soup can. Being in the direct marketing business, I appreciate stuff like this. It is one of the best promotional items I have ever received and I have never forgotten it.

Dimensional items are fun to get in the mail. What fun mail pieces have you seen or mailed?

More recently, I received a direct mail piece that focused more on personalization than on a cool factor. It was a full-color 6 x 9 envelope with a headline that read, “Values are way UP in the Gould neighborhood.” It had an aerial picture of my neighborhood, with my house highlighted. Below the headline it said, “(Yes, that’s your house!).” When I opened it (and who could resist opening an envelope like that?) there was a brochure, again with a picture of my house, describing the product and offer. This is very impressive to recipients.

  • What have you received that really caught your attention and motivated you to buy?
  • What are you doing to create that experience for your customers and prospects?
  • What do you know about the people you mail to and how can you use that to get them to buy?

As marketers, we grapple with these questions all of the time as we try to come up with more effective mail pieces. Obviously, the answers to these questions will be different for every company as your goals, what you sell and how you sell it all factors into how you create your direct mail marketing.

The worst direct mail strategies are the ones where they add a dimensional piece or personalization that means nothing to their customers and prospects. What you are sending needs to be relevant to recipients and needs to coincide with the messaging of the campaign. When there is a clash between what you say and what you sent, people will throw it away. This is just a waste of money. The can of worms worked because it was a unique dimensional piece that was selling software to keep people from creating a real can of worms. Then the hyper personalized house mail piece was selling homeowners insurance.

You must have synchronicity in order to get results.

Creating an impressive direct mail campaign takes time and commitment. Create fun experiences for your customers and prospects that they will remember and share it with others. It probably won’t be 25 years from now. But if it’s good, it can lead to referrals six months from now. Are you ready to get started?


Direct Mail for 2017 

How did 2017 come upon us so quickly? Time is flying so we need to get started on planning direct mail campaigns for 2017. I really do mean planning, too. It takes time to plan out an effective direct mail campaign. Before we start though, let’s look at what we will not do in 2017.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-2-35-33-pmHow did 2017 come upon us so quickly? Time is flying, so we need to get started on planning direct mail campaigns for 2017. I really do mean planning, too. It takes time to plan an effective direct mail campaign. Before we start, let’s look at what we will not do in 2017.


  • Overcrowd: Using too many images or too much copy is overwhelming.
  • Be Generic: You need to target your offers — they should never be generic. Specific offers get responses.
  • Rush: Just because you can push to get your mail out fast does not mean you should. Thorough effort in strategic planning is essential for sending quality mail.
  • Send alone: Your direct mail campaign should be tied to other channels, in order to amplify your reach and increase response.
  • Send once: Direct mail works best when you reach out to people several times — particularly if they are prospects and unfamiliar with you.

So now that we know what we won’t do, let’s take a look at what direct mail should entail in 2017. Technology will be the key to improvement. There are now so many ways to integrate direct mail with mobile and online content. Integration increases engagement, and new varieties of integration surface all the time. The pace of change in marketing right now is staggering.

Focus on direct mail’s strengths: it is targeted, tactile, scheduled and trustworthy. Take full advantage of these characteristics by applying tailored lists, textures, smells, inks and tracking. Make your drab direct mail fab. Customers and prospects will notice and appreciate your creativity.

Here are some ideas for fun direct mail:

  1. Textured or coated paper: Make your message pop with textures and coatings that will alert your targets via fingertip. This is relatively inexpensive and will boost response.
  2. Dimensional: Dimensional mail is any mail that is not flat — boxes, tubes or any other 3-D shape pops in the mail. Note that postage on dimensional mail is more expensive.
  3. Endless folds: Create fun and entertaining mail by sending a folded piece. These go beyond visual stimulation by requiring recipients to touch and manipulate the piece.
  4. Video: These mailers have an audiovisual player that is embedded within them. The video content is played after opening the mailer or pushing a button.
  5. Scavenger hunt: Launched with a direct mail piece, you can send your customers on a fun adventure.
  6. 3-D: Create a mailer with 3-D images, send some 3-D glasses along with it and let the fun begin.
  7. Ink: Try using some of the new, reactive inks that change color with temperature, and more.

These are just some of the creative ways direct mail can be used. Get your customers excited about your direct mail. There are so many new and fun options you can be taking advantage of. Not everyone has a big enough budget to take advantage of the more expensive options, but there are plenty of ways to spice up your direct mail while staying within your budget.

Let 2017 be the year you create better direct mail, and have fun doing it!

Why Use Dimensional Mail?

The good part about dimensional mail is that each one may cost more to produce, but you will get more responses with this type of mail. Here are the top three reasons to use dimensional mail:

dimensional mailDimensional mail is mail pieces that are not flat like normal, but have dimension such as boxes or tubes. They have a much higher response rate compared to traditional mail pieces. Switching from direct mail postcards to a dimensional piece is very costly — before you consider this, you need to know your budget constraints. The good part about dimensional mail is that each one may cost more to produce, but you will get more responses with this type of mail.

Top three reasons to use dimensional mail:

1. Appeal

This unique mail piece resonates with recipients. Not only will they open it, but in most cases, they share it with friends and family. It’s also remembered much longer than other types of mail.

2. Response

Dimensional mail has a higher response rate than regular mail. According to the 2010 Direct Marketing Association report, the average response is around 8.5 percent.

3. Longevity

In many cases, the dimensional mail is useful to recipients and is kept to be used over and over, thus keeping your company top of mind each time they use it.

Since this can be costly, it pays to plan ahead. Generating cost saving where you can is the best way to increase your ROI. This is not to say go cheap on paper and packaging, but to consider all your options and pick what will work best for your campaign. Many times you can take advantage of a sale on items you want to use.

Here are some other cost saving ideas:

  • List: Really take time to target your list to the right prospects and customers. Don’t spend money on people who will not want or need your product or service.
  • Size: The dimension of your piece will help it stand out in the mail so there is no need to go for extra-large. The printing and assembly of a smaller package will save you money.
  • Method: You can mail in batches if that is preferable, but make sure your batch sizes allow you to take advantage of standard mail postage rates. Your mail service provider can give you all the information specific to the size of your piece.

Dimensional mail is a great opportunity to showcase your product or service. There are so many options to choose from, so you can get very creative. Remember to keep it relevant to your audience and that you need to stay in line with your company brand. Just sending any old thing to stand out does not work: You need to have a symbiotic relationship between the mail piece and your company along with the product or service you are trying to sell. Keep it functional but add some fun to it. Creating something fun that people like is a great way to get them to keep it and show it off to other people to increase your campaign’s reach.

As with any new direct mail venture, take the time to really plan out your campaign. All the little details really matter. You will find that there are fewer bumps in the road when you have a fine tuned plan ready to tackle any problems that creep up. Make sure to consider how the post office handles mail so that you do not end up sending out items that arrived damaged. The strength of the carton and the way the contents are packed matter a great deal in how the materials arrive to your prospects and customers. Are you ready to try dimensional mail?