A client asked the other day, “Before we add landing pages to our direct mail program, we’d like you to tell us about the benefits. What kind of results will we see in return?”
I was a bit stumped because in my mind, they just co-exist in harmony. At Responsory, we’ve been pairing landing pages and direct mail since Day 1, so I haven’t really thought about the benefits of this marriage for some time. I took off my marketer hat and put on my consumer hat to start thinking about how to respond.
At my house, looking through the mail is a family affair. It’s the ‘junk mail’ that gets everyone to the table to take a look. We make bets on what percentage is behind the Kohl’s circular peel-away. “Darn it, only 20% this week.” My husband is the grocery coupon clipper. The kids love to grade the different postcard and self-mailer designs. (Boring #10 letter packages don’t earn their attention.) And, if the mailer has any padding or bulk whatsoever, expect a fist fight to see who gets to open it.
Even though direct mail still gets our attention, 80% of our non-grocery purchases are made online. But, most of the time direct mail is what initiates that purchase. When a direct mail piece grabs our attention, the first place we go to is the web because we want to reaffirm the offer, get more detail, compare pricing, and look at reviews. I can’t really think of an important purchase we’ve made that didn’t involve the internet.
But that’s just the direct mail habits of one Midwestern family. I decided to pull together some recent facts to see if my perception was reality. Here’s what I found.
Marketing campaigns that use direct mail and one or more digital media experienced up to 118% lift in response rate compared to using direct mail only.
This makes sense for two reasons:
(1) consumers rely so heavily on digital technology and
(2) it can take 18 to 20 touchpoints to reach a customer for the first time. Single touches via a single channel are no longer an option for success-seeking marketers.
Let’s explore this further with some hot statistics:
- Retail e-commerce sales worldwide will nearly double between 2016 and 2020
- In an April 2017 survey, 40 percent of internet users in the United States stated that they purchased items online several times per month
- 20 percent said they bought items or services online on a weekly basis
- Not only the volume of online sales shows optimistic figures and projections, but also web and mobile-influenced offline salesare forecast to increase
- Around 42 percent of U.S. consumershad searched and purchased products or services online
- 14 percent prefer searching online and buying in store/offline
- The Print on Demand Institute (PODI) has found that direct mail response rates can be even higher when direct and digital marketing are integrated with increased personalization like landing pages.
- The availability of coupons and discounts is one of the main factors that influence internet users to buy items online
The bottom line:
Internet-savvy buyers are determined to spend time researching products online and reading online reviews to make the best choice and get the best deal possible. At times, they do their research online and end up buying offline.
This trend has been the status quo for some time and desktop or laptop computers remain the preferred digital medium for online purchases in the United States, but mobile commerce is on the rise.
In fact, mobile plays an intermediary role in many multi-device purchasing journeys.
- Combined, desktop and mobile devices account for more than 75% of all initial and final “touches” in multi-device journeys.
- While mobile and desktop are similar in terms of accounting for initial touches (mobile: 40%, desktop: 37%) and final touches (mobile: 42%, desktop: 36%), it’s mobile that often keeps a multi-device purchase moving along.
- Consumers are using mobile as an intermediary touch (neither the first nor last) in 58% of all multi-device purchases.
Even More Benefits
There are many benefits to integrating landing pages with direct mail programs. Among the most popular reasons our clients employ landing pages is to track their direct mail results. They’re not alone — 61 percent of companies are tracking online with the use of landing pages.
Landing pages inherently focus content on a specific audience and topic, encouraging the user to click, buy, give you permission to follow-up, refer a friend or learn something. The beauty is that all this engagement is trackable for further analysis. Further, these pages can be enhanced to increase search engine optimization efficacy!
Personal Experience Translates
So, it turns out my family is no different than many others. We’re among the 42% of Americans who research online to help make their purchasing decisions. And, this percentage will only continue to grow.
Take millennials for example. A significant percentage of millennials like mail. It has a built-in emotional response factor that really appeals to this demographic.
In fact, Gallup reported that 36% of people under the age of 30
look forward to checking their mailboxes every day.
What’s more, 95% of 18-to-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters. Notably this generation will wield a combined $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020, as reported by Accenture.
At the end of this exercise, I was very happy to report to our client that direct mail + landing pages makes a lot of dollars and sense.