An interview with Tracy Mueller, VP Sales
With the onset of digital marketing in the 90s, many said direct mail was dead. While technology has significantly changed the way businesses communicate, direct mail continues to be a relevant and effective marketing tool for many organizations to reach their target audiences.
Tracy Mueller, VP Sales, is no stranger to this solution. Working at Kramer for nearly a quarter century, she’s seen the trends in direct mail marketing with her valued clients throughout her career. We sat down with Tracy to learn more about this profitable communication tool and why we should keep using it.
Q: Is direct mail (print) really dead?
A: Absolutely not; and our clients would agree!
There have been ebbs and flows during the time I’ve worked at Kramer, especially when digital first “arrived.” In the 90s we saw an impact. This phenomenon (or disruption) at the time was alluring. It offered up some creative and experimental freedom. The internet provided new avenues to reach people differently. While there were benefits, there were also drawbacks from increased competition, technical challenges, data privacy concerns, and digital fatigue. While this technology is here to stay, digital printing and data management advancements have made direct mail campaigns easier, more efficient, and cost-effective.
Because of this, we’ve seen an increased volume over recent years, partially due to COVID (which provided new challenges to all businesses). Direct mail offered a way to connect. Folks were at home and looked forward to receiving mail. It helped maintain relationships and generate business in a time of uncertainty.
And it’s continuing to trend upwards. We’ve seen our direct mail business increase by 39.6% in the past two years and forecast it to go even higher in the third/fourth quarters. Our clients understand the merit of this channel — the impact on their brand based on the outcomes — and can see the financial value of their direct mail efforts. It works!
Q: Is digital taking over?
A: I don’t think so. The tangibility of a mail piece creates a lasting impression and can increase brand recall compared to digital-only methods. We are inundated with emails and social media messages which can be easily deleted or ignored. According to the USPS, on average, a household receives two pieces of direct mail per day versus 157 email messages. Physical mail is more personal than digital communications.
While we like how digital can complement a campaign, direct mail has a longer shelf life. Recipients keep physical mail for a longer period, referring to it when making purchasing decisions or exploring offers.
Q: What are the benefits of using direct mail?
A: It keeps your brand top-of-mind. A well-designed piece will stand out and increase the likelihood of a consumer engaging with the message, and the brand. With the rise of digital marketing, the competition for online advertising space has become intense. Direct mail provides an opportunity to stand out as there is less saturation in physical mailboxes. Your message has a higher chance of capturing the recipient’s attention without competing against numerous online distractions. Bonus points if they keep the mail piece for future reference, displaying it on the refrigerator for the exact time it’s needed.
You can target the audience you’d like to reach. Direct mail enables precise targeting by allowing you to segment your audience based on demographics, geography, or purchasing behavior. This targeted approach ensures that your message reaches the right people, increasing the chances of a positive response.
You can personalize the experience. Enhance the customers’ experience with personalized messaging that demonstrates that you understand who they are. With variable printing techniques, you can change out the messaging, the offers, and even the photography to tailor the message and make the communication more relevant and effective.
In the end, you can measure the results. You can track the effectiveness of your campaign by using unique QR codes, phone numbers, response cards, or landing pages.
Q: What will make my campaign work?
A: Three ways to unlock the potential to a successful direct mail campaign are great design, compelling offers, and consistent messaging.
- Great design. You want to make your piece stand out in the mailbox, so it grabs the recipient’s attention. The more you can do to stand out the better. (We’re going to share more about this in our next blog.)
- They create value. Offers provide a compelling reason, whether it’s a discount or special promotion, to take action. Not only does it encourage response, but it can create a sense of urgency and drive engagement. (Plus, you can test offers too giving a measurable way to know what’s working.)
- Consistent messaging helps establish brand recognition and builds credibility. This is essential in attracting and retaining clients. The more they see your message whether it be in the mail, on their phone, or even watching TV, it will become more familiar and keep you top-of-mind.
All that said, direct mail ROCKS! And if you’re not using it, you should. From postcards and brochures to catalogs and dimensional mailers, you can integrate this channel into your overall marketing strategy to differentiate your brand, drive engagement, and generate results.
Q: Why use Kramer’s direct mail services?
Want the key to direct mail success?
Work with Kramer to reach your audience, grab their attention and connect with them on a personal level. Contact us today to get started on your next campaign at 608.849.1984.