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Direct mail is an “integral part of cross-channel marketing”

May 28, 2010 

With many consumers getting their information from digital sources, many small business owners are switching to digital marketing to target them. This has left some business owners wondering if direct mail marketing is worth the effort in today’s digital world.

A new article from DMNews answers that question, suggesting that direct mail marketing still has a place in contemporary marketing campaigns. While Dan Smith, senior vice president of marketing at ClickSquared, does admit there are some inherent challenges to using direct mail in today’s society, it still has its uses.

Because not all customers respond to the same communications in the same way, business owners need to send messages across different channels. For example, while a 20-year-old consumer might respond to an email message, an 80-year-old customer might not. Even more specifically, many consumers have come to expect businesses in different industries to send different messages. While it might be peculiar if a government agency sent a message via social media, that would not be out of place for Coca Cola.

For some industries, like charities, direct mail marketing is still the most effective way to get new customers, said Smith In those industries, direct mail is used for not only acquiring new customers, but also keeping them engaged if they don’t respond to other types of messages.

The key to successfully utilizing direct mail marketing is by integrating it into other marketing channels, says Smith. For example, direct mail could be used to drive people to a business’ website, where customers could submit their email addresses to sign up for email marketing messages, request a brochure, or purchase a product.

"Any marketing channel loses its effectiveness when deployed in isolation. A marketer that segregates communication channels loses the ability to orchestrate a dialogue across channels," Smith told DMNews.

While direct mail isn’t the end-all marketing solution for every business, it is an integral part of a comprehensive marketing campaign, says Smith.

Author:  Mark Haslan

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