In The Mix – Why Direct Mail Shouldn’t Be Given The Digital Elbow

Digital marketing is huge – this we all know. With the ever-evolving technologies available to us and advertisers becoming ever more creative in their use of various mediums, the natural assumption may well be that traditional marketing techniques, such as direct mail, are dead. But is that really the way forward?

There’s no denying digital marketing techniques have exploded – social media is recognised as one of the key ways to engage with your audience, promote new products and determine the reaction to various new services. The delivery method is relatively cheap and is arguably better for the environment in many cases (no ink or paper involved unless the recipient prints it out at home). Digital promotions are also an effective method for marketers to gather valuable information on trends so that they may capitalise on them.

The growth of Big Data has a firm foothold in the popularity of digital marketing. Campaigns are becoming ever more personalised and targeted because of information largely gathered online, and as a result, the return on investment is significantly better than the scattergun approach of the old days.

Because of the boom in digital marketing trends, qualifications are being developed limited solely to the techniques thereof, eschewing the virtues of traditional marketing. But in doing so we’re in danger of missing a trick – because research is telling us that direct mail still connects better with audiences when it comes to building long-term relationships. People still want something tangible they can hold in their hands so that they can feel truly connected – whether it’s a brand promotion or a charity campaign. In fact, data shows us direct mail is a far more effective method of developing long-term relationships. Digital marketing methods work for short, sharp campaigns (think Ice Bucket Challenge), but direct mail encourages lasting commitments.

Of course, a company’s marketing strategy should be tailored to its targeted demographic, or the whole enterprise becomes unfocused and ultimately, unsuccessful. These days the most effective strategies involve a mixture of digital and direct mail marketing, allowing the message to reach further, more regularly, and, therefore, have a better impact. Digital has given marketers another string to their bow, but direct mail is most certainly alive and kicking!

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