Before TV, the radio, and the internet, direct mail advertising ruled the marketing world. It was the only way for customers to find out about promotional offers and maintain inventory lists so that they could browse your selection of goods. Everyone remembers getting piles of catalogues as children, sifting through them, calling the number on the back, and placing your order. But with so many newer and cheaper ways to advertise, direct mail is becoming not only costly, but unreliable, and damaging to the environment. It’s a chore now to sift through paper mail, and frustrating to type in the link and promotion code or call the customer service line. Direct mail advertising, though it still reigns as the straightest route to the customer, is falling by the wayside.
Low Rates of Return
Unless you’re paying for priority shipping on all of your postcards, flyers, and brochures, you’re unable to track these little items through USPS. This means that it’s very easy for them to get lost in the mail, and never reach the customer at all. Not to mention, the qualified sales leads that come in from flyers average between 1% and 3% – not ideal, especially when the cost of printing, designing, designating, and mailing is 15-20 times more expensive than digital advertising. It certainly makes all that effort hard to justify, and it makes a good case for focusing your efforts elsewhere, like on dedicated newsletters and bolstering a strong customer service department.
Huge Margin for Error
With television, radio, internet, and e-mail marketing, the only thing you need to be concerned about is that your information is correct and the e-mail address is typed right. There are many factors that can halt mail service in its tracks: an old customer has moved, or their zip code is wrong, or the numbers on the street address were transposed by accident. This means that your time-sensitive promotional offer won’t make it to them in time, if ever, which can be irritating when a customer attempts to reach your call center. Often times, should anything occur to slow down the postal service, it doesn’t even matter if they do get it, because it arrives days after it can be applicable. The instantaneous nature of the internet and television makes it so that your offers can be shorter and your returns greater – why wouldn’t you capitalize on that?
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