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Is Direct Mail in Houston Worth It?

Many of our Houston-area clients here at Studio Brand Collective ask us a lot of questions about direct mail campaigns. Some of them have found success with direct mail before; others have big ideas about how to attract customers through the mail. All of them, however, are concerned. Direct mail, after all, is a bit of an old-fashioned relic in the digital age. Is the return on investment good? Can a favorable response rate even be tracked?

Basically, Houston businesses and entrepreneurs want to know if direct mail is really worth it in the 21st Century.

It’s undeniable that technology has drastically changed the direct marketing industry. However, it has not made direct mail obsolete. To the contrary, direct mail has been enhanced by digital technologies in many ways. Contrary to conventional wisdom, direct mail can still be great at getting leads to visit a shop, encouraging customers to buy online, or collecting information (including email addresses!) from prospects.

There are several reasons why, despite our reputation as a digital agency, Studio Brand Collective never tries to talk a client out of direct mail marketing:

1. The mailbox is less crowded than the inbox.

Think about how many emails you receive a day. Now, how many of those do you actually read? There’s no doubt that the first number is higher than the second! Often, people don’t even sort through their emails daily, but research indicates that up to 77 percent of people sort through their physical mail daily. Today, the average household receives 15 pieces of mail per week. That’s less than three pieces of mail each day, making it potentially easier to stand out.

2. It can be highly targeted.

Just because it’s printed and stamped doesn’t mean that direct mail doesn’t rely on digital tools. Sure, it’s still possible to blast out a simple message to tens of thousands with the classic “current resident” greeting, direct mail today can be focused on specific audiences, within specific areas, who are currently in the market to buy. Ever gotten a mailer from a car dealership offering to buy your exact make and model? It was only one of thousands of mailers, but digital spreadsheets helped them target the messaging specifically to you.

3. Direct mail can be combined with other digital campaigns.

The demographic most likely to respond to direct mail is typically seniors over the age of 65. This target demo is also far LESS likely to respond to certain digital marketing strategies. By harnessing the power of multi-channel marketing, it’s possible to enjoy the benefits of digital marketing combined with the physical benefits of direct mail for the ultimate results. You’ll be able to hit everyone from millennials to baby-boomers with marketing that works for them, all in one campaign.

With all that said, of course, there are still some things every marketer needs to have in place in order to create and execute a successful direct mail campaign in Houston, Texas—or anywhere else, for that matter:

1. The Right Demographics

As we’ve said, older people are more likely to respond to direct mail. Younger generations are more likely to see direct mail as needless clutter. Your industry and target market must be a consideration. A business focused on young consumers, for example, may need to appear cutting-edge, and direct mail is often perceived by the young as an old-fashioned medium that could sabotage your response rates.

2. A Great Mailing List

The bottom line is that if your direct mailing list is full of outdated information and low-quality leads, the campaign will almost certainly fail. If you’re working with a lengthy list of highly qualified prospective customers, however, every dollar you spend could secure you a potential return. Bigger, higher-quality mailing lists tend to cost more money or take more time to put together. If you don’t have a quality mailing list, you don’t have a high-quality direct mail campaign.

3. Digital Integration

Being able to leverage the “best of both worlds” by tying your direct mail pieces into your social media strategy or by using unique codes to send recipients to personalized URL destinations can improve your direct mail response rates, messaging, and even the physical appearance of your direct mail pieces. At Studio Brand Collective, we always want to track the performance of every campaign so we can calculate your true ROI. Digital integration is how we do it.

4. Standout Packaging

Does your direct mail piece look like it’s important? Does it look fun and feel to open? Or does it look like junk mail? This is a very simply concept, but it can make or break a direct mail campaign. Make sure your direct mail piece DEMANDS attention. Otherwise, it’s going in the trash.

Could direct mail deliver a high ROI for your Houston-area business? Call us to find out! We offer free digital marketing audits for prospective clients. Contact us today at 713.863.1141 to set yours up!

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