Print Isn’t Dead:

How Can You Make It Work Better For Your Business?

With the advent of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and other online advertising over the internet, you might think that “print is dead.” But those obituaries are premature! Consider these 5, data-driven facts

The facts:

  • 42 percent of recipients read or scanned the mail pieces, then redeemed more than 2.5 billion coupons.
  • Offered twelve options, 54 percent of consumers surveyed said they prefer to receive (direct) mail from brands they like.
  • 56 percent of consumers who responded to direct mail went online or visited the physical store.
  • The response rate to direct mail pieces is 3.7 percent, as opposed to 2 percent mobile, 1 percent email, 1 percent social media, and 0.2 percent internet display.
  • Direct mail still offers the highest customer lifetime value, with an 80-90% open rate (vs. 20-30% of email). 59 percent of U.S. respondents agreed they “like” getting mail about new products from brands!



So why the obituaries?

Not everyone is successful with direct mail — but based on these numbers, if you’re not successful, it’s time to rethink how you’re doing it. Marketing experts tell us that marketing is about consistency and repetition. If a small business sends out a postcard to 250 people with a coupon and gets no response, it’s not surprising. 250 postcards is an incredibly small number in the grand scheme of things. One-shots hardly ever work. Beyond that, was the message truly compelling? The offer something recipients would notice? Most importantly, what was the list?
This last question brings us to the main reason direct mail fails: the list. Does it really identify your audience? If you consistently and repeatedly send quality, compelling direct mail with eye-opening offers but get no response, you have to think about your list. How did you get it? What do you know about the people on the list? What kind of metrics do you have telling you how closely related their interests are to what you have to offer? Do you know what their buying patterns are — not just what they buy but when?
Think about it for a minute: when you visit, you are greeted with items likely to interest you. Each time you buy, even each time you look at an item, you immediately receive several similar suggestions. These offers come to you via “Big Data” that helps predict what you might be interested in. Every time you click on something, whether or not you buy, the information goes into an enormous data bank in the “sky.” (Well, cloud, anyway.) If you keep a Wishlist on Amazon…well, woohoo! It’s not only a convenience for a customer to have a list of things they’d like some day but a bonanza for the data banks and those who use them to promote their products.
Amazon tells us they plan not only to deliver via drone but to deliver to your doorstep before you even order. They have tremendous faith in the data they accumulate from within their service and from your wider-ranging web behavior. And yet the return on direct mail still exceeds email (3.7%/1%).
So there’s bad news and good news in this Amazon example. The bad news is that your 250 postcards can never compete with Amazon’s data-driven marketing even if the 250 on your list are all friends and family. Just because they’re friends and family, it doesn’t mean they’re in the market for what you have to offer. But the good news is that you too can access and benefit from data-driven lists, and use online data sources in your offline campaigns for a fully integrated strategy.

Path2Response offers you a better performing list of names, with:

  • The Most Recent Data Available Anywhere: Access better data to predict buying behavior.  
  • An Integrated, 360-Degree View of a Prospect: Create prospect lists with a 360 degree view of browsing and transaction data.  
  • Better List Testing Algorithms: Leverage new strategies and algorithms in list testing.  
  • More Consistency: Build a better “control” and a better, more consistent testing environment.  
  • Complete RFM analysis: Leverage online and offline consumer behavior data for a complete RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) analysis.  
Path2Response has created better models and lists, giving your direct mailings their best chance to reach a more well-defined market. By using algorithms that learn from and make predictions on data and building models from these inputs, you will see better results, and ultimately achieve better LTV from your campaigns.

When your direct mail reaches the right customers at the right time, you and your customer enjoy these benefits:

  • Customers appreciate that direct mail is tangible, something they hold in their hands.
  • 70% of customers agree direct mail is more personal.
  • Direct mail allows creativity. That’s fun for you, and your customers appreciate it!
  • Direct mail drives online purchases: 56 percent of consumers who responded to direct mail went online or visited the physical store.
  • Better lifetime value from your customer list.

So take those “obituaries” with a grain of salt. Print isn’t dead — with a dynamic, super-charged list of people ready to buy what you have to offer, direct mail can be your best friend.

Maria brings over 25 years of Data Co-operative and Multi-Channel Retail experience to Path2Response. Maria has expertise in sales, marketing, merchandising, and advertising for multi-channel retailers with proven success in all aspects of the selling cycle, and joins Path2Response to lead Client Development. Maria has been focused on selling solutions that drive increased revenue for catalogers and direct-to-consumer, financial, and insurance companies. Previously, Maria held senior leadership positions at Multi-Solution Marketing and Lenox Corporation.