Marketing for tradies: why direct mail still works

Even though direct mail is considered outdated by many marketers, it actually boasts a strong response rate. In a highly digital age, it’s surprising, but true. In fact, response rates to direct mail have actually increased over the last decade and are currently at their highest since 2003. This is an important insight for trade business marketing. We don’t have huge marketing budgets, and need to reach customers and prospects efficiently.

Here are another 4 reasons why good-old snail mail should be on your marketing to-do list: 

1. Email overload

How many emails are you receiving every day? How many of them do you actually read? We get way more emails in our inbox than we want to, or can actually read. Your customers and prospects are in the same boat.

Your email is likely to be sitting at the bottom of the priority list. When your prospect finally gets around to sorting their emails, yours will be included in the ‘delete all’ function, and your message is lost. Sending it at all was a waste of time.

Of course, people throw away physical mail too, but the numbers are in favour of direct mail here. A recent study showed that 77 per cent of consumers sort through their physical mail as soon as they get it. And even better, 98 per cent of people check their mail daily. That means a lot less back up in the physical mail box and a much better chance for your sales piece to get read.

2. The personal touch

In the age of multitasking, computer users are by far the most distracted. And that’s one reason why unsolicited emails get such little attention. Direct mail is all about talking directly to your prospects. Direct mail allows you to step right into prospects’ lives as soon as they open the mail. You need your sales piece to connect with your customers on a personal level. Unless you plan to take up door-to-door sales, you’re not going to get any closer to your prospects than direct mail.

3. Increased trust

With increased technology comes an increased concern for privacy, and people are trusting electronic communication less and less. People tend not to trust attachments and links in an email. Sometimes, even images can get eaten up by the evil spam filter, making it increasingly difficult to get your email to stand out.

Direct mail is not faced with these same problems. You can “attach” as much as you want without setting off alarms. Consumers are bound to trust your direct mail sales piece more than they would a suspiciously fancy email.

4. Enhanced delivery

A direct mail piece has the opportunity to be much more impressive than a simple, bland email. While this is not always necessary (sometimes a straightforward postcard can suffice), it’s definitely nice to have so many options. Coloured envelopes, different envelope shapes and sizes, 3 dimensional pieces, freebies. The list goes on.

Everyone can send an email. Direct mail is something special these days. Not only that, research shows direct mail connects with customers on a deeper emotional level and as we know, provides a much higher response rate.

So, if you thought the email age had done away with the postman, think again. The direct mailer is here to stay, and if you’re not including it in your marketing mix yet, well, you best reconsider.

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