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Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog, “Adding Direct Mail to the Marketing Mix”


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Adding Direct Mail to the Marketing Mix" provides a best practices approach for integrating direct mail into any marketing campaign. Data mining organizations have produced a plethora of reports pointing to excessive clutter in the digital space, so much so, that it is becoming more difficult for advertisers to gain traction and engagement.

Besides, other marketing reports generated over the past two years have identified a resurgence of direct mail, and it's value in helping online engagement numbers. To that end, direct mail has also been cited as an increased revenue generator of sorts, as certain demographic groups are more likely to purchase as a result of direct mail.

Take the automotive industry for example. The following numbers should invoke any automotive OEM or dealership to add direct mail to their marketing strategies.

  • 73% of consumers prefer direct mail for brand communications
  • 46% of adults respond to auto direct mail
  • 78% of car owner purchases are via direct mail

Offsetting Digital Response Rates

Sales results have always been the bottom line for any marketing strategy or initiative. However, the digital age has brought about different methods of measuring marketing results.

Online measurements now include 'likes,' 'comments,' 'sharing,' 'customer reviews,' 'following,' 'subscriptions,' and 'purchases,' to highlight a few. With all the hoopla surrounding online marketing, the returns pitted against advertising investments has some industry insiders scratching their heads trying to decipher the value.

Further, it is becoming quite clear that as online channels are ramping up users, and with new channels entering the market place, the law of diminishing returns is already underfoot.

That's not to suggest that marketing in the digital environment is a bust; instead, it is a wakeup call for marketers and brands to rethink their overall marketing mix. The reality is that many brands and marketers now face the challenge as to how to make the online/digital efforts perform better.

Regardless of the high-quality expertise of digital collateral, from graphic designs to content marketing, to gifs and 4k video production, those efforts could use more help to cut through.

Best Direct Mail Practices

The art of inserting direct mail into a marketing campaign requires a few steps that all marketing initiatives should contain. We contend that the following steps are a basic best practices approach and marketers and brands can build on or substitute them with their own.

Multichannel or Omnichannel

Direct mail's claim to fame is the uninterrupted ability to point to a specific digital destination. Having certain digital triggers within the direct mail piece that direct the recipient to an online destination is a chief cornerstone of this tactic.

One creative approach is sending out an email blast to alert recipients to watch their physical mailboxes for an expected direct mail piece delivery. After the recipient receives the direct mail piece, send a second email to bolster the call-to-action designed to drive recipients/users to the same place.

Personalization Targeting

Ensure that the chosen targeting methodology is current. Cleanse and update the database and segment any lists on file, including inserting new ones. Personalized targeting requires that all elements of the direct mail piece be specific and targeted for each segment. People respond to personalized messaging at higher rates than generic versions. Marketers should note that outdated or corrupt data can also produce unintended consequences.

Voice of the Customer

Voice of the customer aka VOC is the primary strategic consideration for all marketing messages, whether it's targeting online users or direct mail recipients. In this customer-centric universe, it is critical to offer messaging communications that are about the customer versus the products or services that one may be selling.

Therefore, a good practice for developing VOC messaging is to place oneself in a position of the buyer or targeted recipient. Ask yourself, if I were interested in purchasing a product or service that this brand is selling, what type of communications would I need to hear to get me to respond?


A/B testing came to the forefront in the digital world to ascertain which type of creative works best for a particular campaign. Marketers continue to believe that A/B testing is one of great importance that provides a road map for better ROI.

Direct mail also enables you to make changes to the campaign thanks in part to Variable Digital Printing, aka variable data printing. Since all the creative is available from a database, including graphics, target specifics, and messaging, it is quite conceivable to try various types of printed assets, such as paper types, textures, colors, and packaging versions.

Identify Your Market

Therefore, generate buyer personas for each target group that aligns with your intended campaign. Each group will contain triggers they respond to most, and in that mindset, it is critical to understand how the creative will be designed to meet their expectations best.

Measure for Accountability

In the absence of having a tracking mechanism, well, that's like a pilot attempting to land without access to landing data. An excellent way to set up a tracking mechanism for direct mail is to include a personalized URL, or QR code, or a dedicated phone number, or a unique login code to a digital destination.

Digital Testing

An excellent way to assist in the direct mail initiative is to pretest the list with a digital test. A test can help to ensure that your list file is up-to-date and that your data is not corrupt. This process also provides a precise method to target the correct audience.

The Net-Net

Direct mail has now risen to such importance that digital efforts are now to a significant degree interdependent upon direct mail being part of the marketing mix. Tired of your digital marketing efforts failing to generate the response, engagement and purchasing rates for ROI? It may be time to consider adding direct mail to your marketing mix. Thanks for reading "Adding Direct Mail to the Marketing Mix."

Let's have a conversation about direct mail strategies, printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity and unified marketing collateral during our next Open House. We invite you to join us on Thursday, February 28, 2019, for an hour or two, anytime between 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. Moreover, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you. For more information call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.

If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the contact form for Dove Direct.

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