5 best practices for developing a direct mail strategy that will help reach your marketing goals On the fence about adding direct mail into your marketing mix.
Direct mail continues to produce measurable results for companies operating in the financial services industry, and it remains a solid option as a mainstream marketing medium
Research tells us that a daily trip to the mailbox is an excursion that people are excited to take. Mail tends to get opened and reviewed on the same day it is received, and direct mail is considered to be much more personal than other marketing mediums such as emails, digital ads, and phone solicitations. It has an innate ability to affirm brand recall and has a 4.4 percent response rate as a standalone medium, eclipsing email’s average response rate of 0.12 percent.
Marketers in the financial services industry recognize these unique benefits and understand the impact that an intentional piece of well-designed direct mail can have on its target audience. Using direct mail to outline promotional offers from financial services companies, for example, gives the recipient time to read and review the more detailed information that these offers tend to include, and it enables them to share it with family or friends.
Basically, when you provide your customers with a tangible piece of mail, you’re allowing them the option to use it as a reference piece for future review, which is crucial when it comes to financial services.
Here are a few more reasons that direct mail is an effective marketing channel for the financial services industry:
1. It conveys institutional authority
There are certain physical qualities specific to direct mail that can inaudibly translate a sense of authority or gravitas to the recipient. For example, a direct-mail piece printed on embossed, four-color printed premium paper relays a sense of high-end professionalism and credibility. These physical attributes, which are unique to direct mail, cannot be translated via digital marketing methods. And because consumers tend to have a heightened sense of consumer skepticism surrounding financial services, these powerful tangible qualities make direct mail the perfect marketing medium for reaffirming a sense of trust.
2. It resonates with millennials
Millennials, or those born between 1980 and 1999, are reaching a point in their lives where financial services are becoming more of a priority to them. They are graduating from college, getting married, buying houses, and starting to save for retirement.
It’s easy to assume that this generation of “digital natives” wouldn’t respond to direct mail marketing efforts, but many fintechs are finding success with direct mail. Direct mail breaks through the clutter and is seen as a welcome reprieve from their digital environment. Because this demographic tends to be overly connected, financial service marketers would be remiss if they didn’t give such an increasingly valuable market share a much-needed break and use direct mail as a means of communication.
3. It offers personalization
Financial service providers can take the inherent affection that people have with receiving physical mail one step further through the process of personalization. Variable data printing, for example, is a digital method that allows marketers to customize elements like graphics, images, and text. This degree of customization helps communicate the level of security that your financial establishment can offer current and prospective customers by making the correspondence seem more personal and human-like.
4. It is effective with seniors
Direct mail is considered to be the top influencer for seniors choosing a Medicare insurance plan. This group makes a good target for direct mail because its members are the most likely to sit down and carefully review all communications from insurers, even if they’re not actively looking for new health insurance. The same is true for other financial services because direct mail is able to provide complex and detailed information needed to make a decision, at the recipient’s discretion.
5. It works with your digital strategy
Your digital and direct mail marketing strategies don’t need to exist as separate entities. Financial service providers can actually maximize effectiveness by marrying their digital and offline efforts to create holistic marketing campaigns. When paired together, direct mail can effectively drive traffic to your website or a customized campaign landing page, where visitors can access various digital assets, such as white papers and e-books, and allow you to efficiently capture those leads. QR Codes, personalized URLs and new technologies such as Voice Activated Call to Action (VACTA) all facilitate a response from physical mail to online.
The world of finance is a numbers-driven industry, and direct mail continues to produce firm, measurable results for all types of financial service providers. This is why marketers at top financial institutions continue to blend the fundamentals of direct mail marketing with the advances being made by technology to deliver a more consistent and meaningful customer experience.