In this opinion piece marketing officer at letterbox media company Salmat, Sarah Pike, explains why a direct mail marketing strategy should be on the list for next year.
Despite being the “old faithful” of marketing strategies, letterbox marketing remains the hidden hero of effective strategies, chiefly because it can hit the double whammy of building brand awareness and driving conversions. Here, we reveal why the letterbox is a must-have for your 2016 marketing strategy, and tips to help you get the best results.
It’s no secret that some have speculated the demise of letterbox marketing. But if we were to believe everything the commentators say, then we should also be organising obituaries for radio, TV, magazines and even email marketing.
The continuous investment from big brands like Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, and even the newer players like Airbnb, in catalogue marketing is evidence that some marketing channels never die; they simply evolve.
In a recent episode of ABC’s Gruen, Todd Sampson explained how supermarket chain Aldi has successfully infiltrated Australian households via catalogue marketing, saying, “They’re also referred to in the industry as ‘crack-a-logue’ because everyone’s addicted to them: the retailers and the customers.
“They do a whole bunch of things really well: their reach is amazing… and the amount of time they stay in the home is remarkable. They stay in your home for weeks; it’s like your ad running over and over again. And their influence is remarkable. So, if you have a catalogue in your house there’s a much higher probability of you visiting that shop.”
Letterbox marketing is continually evolving. Today, brands are not only using catalogues to get their latest sales events in front of consumers, they are integrating them as part of multi-channel marketing campaigns by using newer technology (like augmented reality) and mapping it against owned, earned and/or purchased data.
So how can you capitalise on the strength of letterbox media? Here are five top tips to get the best results from letterbox marketing in 2016:
- Zone in on your target
No other media compares with the reach of letterbox marketing: in 2014/15, catalogues reached more than 17 million Australians. The advancement in targeting and data intelligence is delivering highly personalised communication that drives a higher response and, ultimately, an improved return on investment.
Tools like Helix Personas by Roy Morgan Research, Marketfind by Salmat and geoTribes are all unique means for narrowing the focus of your letterbox campaign. For a really targeted campaign, Swiftplan is a tool that allows campaign planners to use a combination of 50+ targeting variables to increase the efficiency of letterbox campaigns.
Data-driven marketing is already an integral part of almost all advertising campaigns and strategy and, in 2016, sending generic letterbox advertising to the masses simply won’t cut it.
- Play to their senses
Our senses are a powerful thing, so use your letterbox campaign to engage and stimulate them. Smell alone can affect 75 per cent of the emotions we generate on a daily basis and research shows your mood will increase by up to 29 per cent if you’re exposed to a positive tactile experience. The beauty of letterbox media is that it can bring your customers so close to your brand; they can literally touch it, smell it or taste it if you get creative. Can you say the same for digital?
- Give them something they will value
Send an offer to the letterbox and recipients will perceive it to be worth more than the same offer on a screen. Research from Royal Mail in the UK found people value something they can see and touch 24 per cent more than something they can only see. Added to this is the fact that 57 per cent of people claim that receiving mail makes them feel more valued.
Letterbox media presents a huge opportunity for brands to create a stronger relationship with consumers while also driving higher conversions. The trick is to give a lot of thought to the offers you’re sending out, and even test them on a sample group before rolling out a wider campaign.
- Complementary media
Letterbox marketing is the ultimate team player. Research shows campaigns with a letterbox component drive market share growth by three times compared to those without. We’ve seen a measurable change in how consumers react when letterbox advertising is added to other media, especially digital campaigns. Brands that use the intimacy of letterbox media together with the immediacy of digital can create deeper connections with consumers.
Letterbox media also boosts the power of outdoor, broadcast and other print communications (and vice versa). And there are also more and more examples of digital-only businesses using targeted letterbox distribution to drive traffic – and sales – online.
The bottom line is that, in today’s hyper-connected world, no marketing channel should ever be considered in isolation – least of all letterbox marketing.
- Looking forward to 2016
Marketing is constantly adjusting and reacting to changes in people and technology. Letterbox marketing is no exception. While digital marketing continues to undergo huge transformations, the letterbox channel is also honing its powers and, in doing so, opening new doors for marketers to connect and engage consumers.
For competitive marketers who are already strategising for 2016, it’s time to look at letterbox marketing with fresh eyes. Think big, think integrated and the results may surprise you.