the Communication Channel of Choice.
Will it survive once again or fade away like the fax machine?
When you place all the comments about the sustainability of the post office behind, direct mail is still a great channel for any business to reach a market. However, direct mail assisted with other channels, such as email, will always kick up the response. There are example of larger corporations, such as Ikea using multi-channel is right on target for any company, small or large, to emulate.
In my 30-year history of using Direct Marketing Mail, I witnessed three major shifts in direct marketing mail. Each event involved a new technology that would be stiff competition to direct marketing mail.
First, in the early 90’s firms were looking for better response using direct marketing mail. Although data was in use with mailing lists and maintained by very large corporations, personal computing was gaining momentum with small businesses. Forward thinking software providers began introducing database and customer contact management software to work on the PCs. The mantra was target better and mail less.
The second point was the introduction of electronic technology of faxing and email. I started using email with direct mail at the turn of the century and fared quite well. As we all heard, email would kill direct mail because it was so cheap. Unfortunately for email, Nigerian Royalty was going to make everyone a millionaire, except those people who responded. However, email did precipitate in the death of fax advertising.
The third point was the recession which started in 2008-9. Then, add newbies social media, website access at faster speeds and a variety of other channels, Smart Phones included, to reach a potential customer. Presently, direct marketing mail is starting to make money and still getting no help from Congress.
Looking for Answers.
Even people who agree with multi-channel, somehow don’t buy into using other communication channels. People involved in political campaigns understand multi-channel. Yes, they still use direct mail but other channels in social media and new technology are getting directly to the voters and are making a difference on Election Day.
What’s holding back other organizations to use mail with other channels? Is it a lack of experience? Is there a lack of talent? Is company data management the culprit delaying the use of multi-channel marketing? If so, what’s the breaking point? How many companies are into multi-channel communications?
Direct marketing mail is not rocket science, but it is a process that must be adhered to in order to get the desired results.
Here is a link to a paper I wrote for a small business gathering on marketing channels that won’t kill the budget. It’s a series of reports we call DMS IMPACT that will appear throughout 2015, to give people ideas on building better marketing communications. The link to download is from my website, DMCM, so there should be no problems.
In your opinion, let me ask once again, how wide spread is the use of multi-channel? How will direct marketing mail be used in 2020?
Comments are cheerfully welcomed and responded to!!!
Since 1993, Direct Mail Success has provided readers the in’s and out’s of direct marketing mail to get a better response in their marketing campaigns. Download a recent issue and see for yourself.
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