Many businesses have followed the trend of focusing on digital marketing and have stopped spending time on direct mail, without realising that it doesn't have to be one or the other. The most effective marketing campaigns use multiple techniques to reach a broad and diverse audience from a variety of angles. Digital marketing could be seen as a replacement for direct mail as both allow a business to directly spread promotional messages to potential customers. However they both have different advantages and therefore are more effective when combined.
Digital marketing, especially through the use of social media, allows you to communicate and create a two-way conversation with the customer. Direct mail is a physical, printed form of marketing sent through the post, which means the recipient have to deal with it in one way or another. They are then forced to make a decision: either take the desired action (make a purchase or enquiry) or throw it away. Both techniques engage the customer on a personal level that is not achievable with passive marketing, such as advertising in magazines or on television.
By combining digital marketing with direct mail, you can build a stronger relationship with the customer and increase awareness of your brand. It's important to ensure the marketing works in unison, with aligned messaging, such as featuring the same information and call to action. The direct mail and digital marketing campaigns should also have consistent visuals, to create a strong and memorable sense of brand identity.
Studies have shown that customers take more notice of a product or brand when they hear about it from multiple sources. In advertising there is an often-discussed 'rule of seven', which means the message should get through to the customer after they have seen the advert seven times. Whether or not this is exactly correct, the industry is in agreement that more visibility increases awareness, familiarity and understanding of the brand. Using two different yet complementary techniques, such as direct mail and digital marketing, is a smart way to achieve this goal.