Direct Mail Advertising: It’s Still Alive, and Data Can Help You Deliver on bdex.com

Direct Mail Advertising: It’s Still Alive, and Data Can Help You Deliver

Learn why direct mail isn’t dead and how it’s still the preferred marketing channel for many industries

With everything going digital these days, you may hear that books and newspapers are dead, and that no one gets anything in the mail anymore. So it might surprise you to learn that direct-mail marketing is still alive and thriving.

There’s something to be said about a potential customer receiving an addressed piece of promotional material – it can be more personal, is definitely more tangible, and can actually provide your business greater return on investment.

So, incorporating direct mail into a marketing strategy can be a solid way to round out a multiple-channel approach to reaching more leads and scoring customers. Just as with common digital marketing strategies, having high-quality data is one of the most important factors in direct-mail outreach.

Here’s why direct mail isn’t dead, how data drives these methods, and how BDEX can provide the most important data you need to help you deliver.

Personalized marketing works

Today’s consumer cares about personalized messages and connecting to their favorite brands. Data from the United States Postal Service (USPS) shows that 67 percent of people still feel that receiving something in the mail is more personal than via the internet. And, people consistently read their snail mail – USPS data also showed that 98 percent of consumers bring in their mail the same day they get it, and 72 percent bring it inside as soon as possible. So, getting a message in the hands of consumers this way means they’re going to see it.

What’s more, the customer’s desire for personalization could actually be because of the rise of digital: Everyone is now striving to feel real human connections. And as a marketer, the only way to make those human connections meaningful is to have the right data about consumers, right at the moment you need it. This is still a big factor in successful direct-mail marketing campaigns.

Where data fits in with direct mail

According to data from Data and Marketing Association (DMA), the median ROI for direct mail is 29 percent, which is better than paid search and online display. So, direct mail clearly isn’t dead and is still crucial to include in your strategy.

So how does data help marketers deliver in the realm of direct-mail marketing? Because they’re spending time, money, and resources on direct mail, and in different ways than with digital, it’s crucial that the information they have is both high-quality (meaning they will actually reach the right leads and customers) and up-to-date (meaning they have the up-to-the-minute customer contact data backing their outreach).

Also, remember that direct mail will be much more effective if paired with a digital marketing strategy. The customer data strategy you’ve been perfecting can only help this side of marketing as well. Direct mail can help increase both customer acquisition and retention and have information out in even more channels and avenues to foster human connectivity with the audience.

But, using data effectively in direct-mail marketing is a bit trickier than with digital. To get the biggest return on investment in this realm, marketers have to be sure they’re not using bad or old information. That means they should make sure they’re mailing to customers for whom they have accurate mailing addresses.

It can’t just be a gamble. Audiences must be better targeted with demographics, databases must be regularly scrubbed and updated, and you must ensure you’re gathering and using quality data.

Also, did you know that direct mail can be automated right along with your digital marketing strategy? For your overall plan to be effective, everything must be integrated and streamlined, and automation plays a big part in that success.

Let BDEX do the work

To get the highest-quality, most up-to-date data for your direct-mail marketing campaign, use our data from BDEX. Our Data Exchange Platform (DXP) allows you to use our simple Taxonomy Explorer tool, which holds data from almost 500 different industries and provides cross-device matching services to connect a customer’s various device IDs. We help you connect across channels, including direct mail, mobile, social media, and more. This means you’ll have the latest data about the right audience, right when you need it.

Now, we have over 1 trillion data points within the BDEX DXP and 700 million ID connections across channels.

To learn more about data from BDEX and how we can provide the data you need at the exact right moment, get in touch with our team or check out our taxonomy tool online today.

Are You Listening to What Your Customers Are Telling You? on bdex.com

Are You Listening to What Your Customers Are Telling You?

Data is important to your marketing efforts, but personalization matters more

Over the last several years, if one thing has dominated business and marketing more than anything else, it’s data. Companies are constantly striving to get it and use it to better attract customers. However, while data can offer great insight into buying behavior, a recent survey of marketing leaders found that for many businesses, consumers are just being turned into numbers.

According to the report, 41 percent of respondents said it was a challenge focusing on creating and fostering customer relationships instead of marketing campaigns. In addition, about 30 percent said they often had a tough time remembering that they were trying to target actual human beings. Even more troubling is the fact that, of the 152 senior marketing executives polled, zero felt they were ready to use new points of intelligence to offer customers a better experience or to boost brand engagement.

“Somewhere in our adoption of data, technology and process, the customer and the very real, human and fragile relationships that marketers have worked so hard to build have been lost, giving way to settling for assumptions about broad personas and an almost obsessive focus on campaign performance,” says Liz Miller. Miller is the SVP of marketing with the CMO Council, the company that produced the report along with Harte Hanks.

Bant Breen of Harte Hanks believes organizations have no excuse for not understanding their customers and what they want.

“In every point of connection, our customers leave small data clues behind that can enrich our current profiles and give brands the insights needed to craft the right combination of message, channel, and timing,” Breen said. “Customers will always tell us what they need. The real question is: Are we listening?”

It’s not just about data; it’s about the right data

That “Are we listening?” question from Breen gets to the heart of the matter. It’s not good enough anymore to know what a customer bought; companies need to also know what they’re looking to buy, and even what they’re planning to buy right now. How can they do this? By targeting the right people so they can reach them on a personal level.

Developing human connectivity with your customers

While you probably have an idea of the type of people who would be interested in your products or services, if this doesn’t involve much more than their gender and age range, it’s time to dig much deeper. With more than 5,500 data categories and over a trillion data points, businesses can use BDEX’s Data Exchange Platform to find a specific group of consumers to target. They can also use the up-to-the-minute real-time data we collect.

We get this information from point-of-sale systems, geofencing, and by seeing what people recently bought online and what they are currently thinking about buying. And with cross-device matching through our comprehensive identity graph, we can also understand customer behaviors and intents no matter which devices they use or how often they switch from one to another.

Once a company knows who their ideal customers are and where and when to reach them, suddenly it’s like they’ve been handed the keys to the kingdom. Now they can create personalized marketing messages based on someone’s behavior. This could include sending them a coupon code for the type of product they’re looking for, offering complementary items for something recently bought, or encouraging them to visit a store when they know they are nearby.

While data is now essential for marketing purposes, it’s not the information itself that is so important; it’s how companies use it to build relationships with their customers. If you’re having trouble developing that kind of human connectivity, get in touch with BDEX by filling out our online contact form.