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Pandemic Says: Reach More With Print


​Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Pandemic Says: Reach More With Print," speaks to the revision of marketing strategies due to the pandemic unfolding across the globe and forcing marketers and brands to adapt.  We are now effectively starting the 4Q push, even though we are just entering September.  After Labor Day, expect the rush to be on with marketers and brands publishing content on full blast.  Further, we have assembled data points that tell a compelling story regarding the value of print's direct mail marketing relative to other mediums.  This pandemic has benefited some industries such as mar-tech with digital marketing, emails, social media posts, and paid digital marketing all growing.  We are also aware that the increase in traffic reduces internet speeds and makes it more difficult for the target to see or read their messages.  Online overload often leads marketers to rethink how their marketing investments will bolster sales, ROI, and even growth opportunities.

Our Quote of the Day: The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have. —Vince Lombardi

Advertising Efficiencies for Elusive Targets

That said, let's be clear on revenue spent versus sales ROI.  Although a marketing medium may be flush with advertising dollars invested by marketers and brands at large, that does not necessarily translate into advertising efficiencies. 
  To that point, the idea of CPM (cost per thousand - impressions) analytics has taken a back seat and, for some, may be a complete afterthought.  CPM is a formula based measurement that determines the cost to reach one thousand target impressions.  It is a part of the entire advertising investment.

For example, if a brand is investing $1000 to reach 100,000 target impressions on a particular medium, the formula to reach the CPM is (CPM = cost/impressions x 1000).  CPM is calculated by taking the advertising cost and dividing by the total number of impressions, then multiplying the total by 1000. Therefore, $1000/100,000 x 1000 would equal $10 CPM.  In this example, the advertiser is spending $10 to reach every one thousand target impressions. 

It is essential to keep in mind that the CPM formula is based on impressions and not lead conversions.  An ad impression occurs when anyone receives or views an advertising message but may not respond to it.  Measure the CPM at the onset of the ad purchase price and apply a conversion rate formula to calculate the conversion rate.

Note that the conversion rate can vary from the number of interactions, as customer interactions don't always convert to sales.  For clarity's sake, let's stipulate that of those 100,000 target impressions, 1,000 prospects interacted, and 25 of those prospects converted into paying customers. The conversion rate formula takes the number of conversions and divides that number by the total ad interactions.  Therefore, the conversion rate would be 25/1000 = 2.5%. It is these types of conversion rates that support reasons to add print to the marketing mix.

Direct Mail Improves Multi-Channel Marketing

  • Just 11% of marketers employ a single medium (DMA)
  • Direct mail assisted, improved and lifted online campaigns by 62% (The Little Book of Bigger Returns, Royal Mail Group)
  • Direct mail, in conjunction with digital ads, generates a 28% higher conversion rate (Nonprofit Pro)
  • Direct mail increased ROI by 20% when included as part of an integrated campaign (The Little Book of Bigger Returns, Royal Mail Group)
  • A person's name and other personalized data information (including the use of full color) expands direct mail response rates by up to 500% (Canon)

Direct Mail Is Significant

  • Direct mail pieces average response rate sent to former customers is 18.4% (USPS Household Diary Study)
  • Affluent households would rather receive direct mail as opposed to email (Sourcelink)
  • Direct mail delivers a more significant emotional impact over digital ads, which results in a stronger recall lasting up to a week later (Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response)
  • All demographic age groups have shown an interest in direct mail, and of those groups, 92% of Millennials attributed making purchasing decisions due to the influence of direct mail (National Mortgage Professional Magazine)
  • 57% of UK consumers stated that postcard marketing created a more authentic relationship over and above digital ads (Private Life of Mail)

Direct Mail And Response Rates (DMA)

  • 70% of people stated direct mail appears to be more personal than the Internet (Epsilon)
  • Direct mail marketing garners a 37% higher response rate over email
  • The top response rate tracking methods are online such as PURLs (61%), call center or telephone (53%), and code or a coupon (42%)
  • Postcards average response rate is 5.7%
  • From 2015 to 2016, direct mail customer response rates increased by 43% and prospect response rates more than doubled (mainly attributed to direct mail paired with digital intelligence)

Direct Mail Breaks Through the Clutter

  • 70% of consumers prefer traditional mail regarding unsolicited offers (Direct Marketing Association)
  • 81% of people daily read or scan their mail (2010 USPS Household Diary Study)
  • 82% of Millennials who read messages on printed paper view the content as more trustworthy over digital (5 Myths About Millennials and Mail)
  • The average household receives just two direct mail pieces per day compared to 157 emails (USPS Marketer's Guide)
  • Up to 90% of people open direct mail, compared to only 20-30% of email that gets opened (DMA)

These numbers tell a very compelling story regarding print marketing, chiefly when using direct mail marketing.  From households to Millennial participation in response advertising, it is clear; the numbers don't lie.  When looking at CPM and conversion rate calculations, direct mail marketing is, without a doubt, a real marketing contender, and should feature in any marketing mix.

It is essential to understand that these data points reflect averages. Marketing campaigns vary in so many ways, and a marketing campaign can fall directly into one or more of the common responses or represent a creative outlier.  Therefore, a campaign that includes direct mail marketing using the CPM and Conversion Rate formulas will provide you with a more succinct evaluation of how your campaign performed and how the addition of direct mail marketing boosts conversion rates.  After all, increased response rates tend to raise conversion rates.

The Net-Net

Keeping in mind that brands and marketers need to continue marketing and advertising effectively, understanding that brand recognition does help generate sales.  Industries that have yet to invest in print may want to consider it for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic.  Now is the time to consider that possibility, as print ensures that your messages will be received and read. In addition, this is an election year, and all political groups and politicians should be thinking about using more print to disseminate their messaging.  Besides, folks don't question whether a mail piece is trustworthy, and politics are under attack due to the lack of trust.  Thanks for reading "Pandemic Says: Reach More With Print."

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