Thursday, April 1, 2010

Direct Mail & Email: The Wave of the Future?

Last week Ad-Ology, a research firm that studies marketing and advertising trends across a variety of industries, released a report on the types of marketing likely to be increasing in 2010.

The findings might surprise you.  Yes, there was plenty of mention of Social Media & Internet marketing.  Obviously both sectors continue to grow rapidly.  However, the report found that when companies are looking to earn new customers the top two forms of marketing to be used in 2010 are email (84.6% of responders) and direct mail (70.4%).

On LinkedIn and other social networking sites there have been a lot of discussions lately about "dying" media formats.  Direct Mail and print tend to get thrown to the top of that list from time to time.  I'm a firm believer in a broad marketing mix that allows consumers to be touched by your message in a variety of formats.  Some forms are easier to track than others, but there is an added synergy in a good media mix that is nearly impossible to count.

Quickly though - why is it that email & direct mail would be the most popular forms of new customer acquisition?
  • They are personal, one on one messages.  Email and mail is always more effective when addressed to the person by name.  One could argue the only other media that could enter the personal space of a consumer like these two is texting.  All three deliver messages specifically to one person with their undivided attention, well, at least for a minute.  
  • Everyone checks their mail and email.  Not everyone watches Television commercials (Andy & I are a prime example, the only TV we watch live is sporting events), many people don't have a newspaper subscription, and with Satellite/XM radio and IPod integration in most new vehicles even traditional radio is slowing.  
  • Finally, timing.  The Post Office is still a government run agency - and thus not a science, but it's still pretty easy to determine when mail will end up in homes.  Email is obviously super easy to control.  With one message sent at a very specific time these methods can drive immediate results to a dealership.  Which is one of many reasons why they should both include timely calls to action.  You can't control when your customer to be will listen to your commercial on the radio, but you can control when your message is hand delivered to them. 
What forms of marketing are you looking to use this year when trying to gain new customers?

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