Category Archives: Direct Mail Tips

Direct mail and the Hispanic market

One of the biggest growth areas in U.S. marketing is the Hispanic demographic.  eMarketer predicts that, although white Americans make up about 70% of the US internet population, Hispanics are going online through their PCs and cell phones in increasing numbers. Smart marketers will begin to target this segment with language- and culture-specific messages, which will evolve from their general-market campaigns.
However, 92% of marketers and agencies who target the the Hispanic market use non-catalog direct mail.  And nearly 60% of marketers attest that direct mail is the best way to get a response from Hispanic consumers.  Just another example of the importance of direct mail and traditional marketing techniques, which should not be neglected in favor of a sole push toward social media marketing.
The Direct Marketing Association found that 77% of Hispanic direct marketers tailor their direct mail messages for the Hispanic audience, according to a late 2008 study.

Nearly half of all marketers (48.1%) who promote to Hispanics report that the majority of their Hispanic-specific promotions are created in both Spanish and English. Only 20% create promotions in English only, and another 20% create separate English and Spanish language versions of their marketing promotions.

Most do not create different versions of their promotions based on dialect and colloquialism, and the majority to do not create different versions of their promotions for different U.S. locations.

Direct mail and email marketing rise to the top

The Direct Marketing Association has released findings in their “Integrated Marketing Media Mix” report indicating that as marketers integrate their media campaigns, they are adding email and other digital media in ever-increasing numbers. Offline media, however, remain extremely important to integrated campaigns. In fact, of the campaigns discussed in the report, 79.1 percent used email — the leading media — but 75.4 percent used direct mail.

According to Yoram Wurmser, Ph.D., DMA research manager and author of the report, “Even as marketers are bringing more digital media into their integrated campaigns, traditional media remain a core component of the marketing mix. What we see in our research is that digital media ranging from the firmly established email to the nascent mobile marketing channels are complementing — not replacing — direct mail, telephone, events, and direct response broadcast advertisements.”

Marketers appear to be adding new media rather than subtracting old ones. When asked about how their media use has evolved over the past three years, the results clearly showed that marketers are now using more digital media. Specifically, 75.8 percent of respondents said they are using more email than they were three years ago, while 61.1 percent are using more online video, and 62.9 percent are using more search engine marketing.

When asked to project how they will use media in the future, marketers project a continuation of the media trends of the past three years — in other words, increased employment of digital media with a steady use of offline media. Eighty-one percent of respondents expect an increase in email use. Other digital media forecast to see higher use include: search engine marketing, new media, campaign URL/PURLs, online video, banner/pop-up ads, and mobile.

Some other key findings from DMA’s “The Integrated Marketing Media Mix” include:

· Direct mail remains an important player in terms of revenue. Respondents attributed 29 percent of the revenue generated from a campaign to direct mail, followed by email, with 21.6 percent of revenue.

· Five of the top six shares of the direct marketing media budget went to offline media: direct mail, catalog, direct response TV/radio, events, and telephone. Only email, which came in second with 11.3 percent of the budget, broke the top five media allocations.

· Digital media scored very high in terms of efficiency. When measuring relative return on investment (relative ROI), email produced roughly twice (1.93x) the revenue share relative to its share of the budget.

· B-to-B integrated campaigns use telephone (42.7 percent vs. 29.3 percent) and events (34.9 percent vs. 18 percent) more often than do B-to-C campaigns, which in turn use DR Newspaper/Magazine ads (29.4 percent vs. 18.2 percent) and DR TV/Radio (29.4 percent vs. 4.2 percent) ads more frequently than B-to-B campaigns.

· B-to-C marketers gather 8.2 percent of their responses from the direct marketing campaign via retail stores, compared with 1.1 percent of B-to-B marketers, who have better luck with email (17.2 percent of responses vs. 9.2 percent).

· Small companies (less than 100 employees) led larger companies (101 or more employees) in using several new media, particularly RSS feeds at 17.9 vs. 11.4 percent, blogs at 32.1 percent vs. 24.6 percent, and social networking sites as 28.4 percent vs. 23.2 percent.

Enduring favorites: email and direct mail

Because of the economy, many marketers are cutting back on advertising expenditures. However, in a recent poll of marketers, Target Marketing researchers found that direct mail marketing and email marketing were by far the most preferred marketing methods for attracting and retaining customers. Both of these methods provided the best return on investment. eMarketer reported the breakdown in the chart below.
eMarketer chart
You would think that direct mail, especially in comparison to email, would be considered old-hat. But that’s simply not the case, according to researchers. eMarketer reported this month that the number of direct mail offers sent out to US customers increased by 17% in 2007, and four out of five of the top direct mail sending industries — auto, insurance, credit card, and telecom — increased their mailings.

Who sends email? Easy. Two industries dominate the email platform: banking and travel. Combined, they are responsible for 80% of commercial email.

Just how effective is email marketing? Um, can you say, very? A study this month found that half of consumers made an online purchase last year as a result of permission-based email marketing. Email marketing was found to be second in influence only to customer reviews on websites, as determined by a February 2008 study and about equal in influence to search results. That’s REALLY influential!

The key to keeping email subscribers? Making sure your list is completely permission-based AND delivering relevant content to your subscribers. Fail at that, and expect them to hit the “unsubscribe” button.

Old school, new school — Fletcher Prince designs and implements direct mail and email marketing campaigns.

The Latest Findings on What Really Works in Marketing

Mary Fletcher Jones

Invest in Marketing Now, When it Really Counts

The importance of social media in marketing today is not to be minimized, but it’s also essential to realize that time-tested marketing techniques like direct mail and email marketing continue to deliver the highest return on investment.  Now is not the time to pull back on marketing.  In past economic downturns, the companies who ramped up their marketing efforts were the ones who endured.  Now is the time to drive sales with email marketing and direct mail, coupled with social media outreach.

Social Media AND Direct Marketing: A Winning Combination

Don’t believe what some social media marketers may tell you — email and direct mail are NOT dead. In fact, they comprise the bulk of most major marketing investment today, and email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing technique! If anyone challenges that, ask them to show you the math.

You and I both know that the best integrated marketing campaigns combine both social media outreach and time-tested marketing techniques like direct mail, advertising, and email marketing.  Don’t we? 🙂

Do the Math

Here are some statistics from the Direct Marketing Association. The Direct Marketing Association has just released a number of interesting research findings.

According to their 2009 Statistical Fact Book,

  • Email to customers and direct mail (other than catalogs) are top direct marketing promotion methods.
  • The average US consumer receives 25 pieces of any type of mail per week.
  • About 81 percent of households either read or scan advertising mail sent to their homes.
  • In response to mobile offers — text messages are most effective.
  • 77 percent of the Inc. 500 reported use of at least some social media tool. (The Inc. 500 is a list of fastest-growing private US companies compiled annually by Inc. Magazine.)
  • Permission-based, business-to-business email lists command the highest price. In November of 2008 these lists cost $293 per thousand.
  • Direct marketers in the nonprofit arena find newspapers and magazines to be the most effective advertising channels.
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