At first glance, it may be difficult to imagine how direct mail can generate a lower cost-per-lead than email. Postage costs continue to rise, and not to mention the costs of designing and printing, it starts to sound like direct mail campaigns are pretty expensive.
However, when we hear phrases such as “lowest cost-per-lead” and “highest conversion rate”, we usually expect to hear “Return on Investment”, or ROI, as well. Believe it or not, direct mail can offer a higher ROI and businesses can maximize their marketing results while minimizing costs with direct mail. In fact, according to the Direct Mail Association, the cost-per-lead of direct mail is $51.40/order. Contrast that with $55.24/order via email or $190.49/order via telemarketing. This article offers some tips on how to generate a lower cost-per-lead and higher conversion rate with direct mail.
Choose the Best Format
With a higher conversion rate of any other marketing medium, direct mail can be even further optimized when the correct format is used. For example, many people think of direct mail having to be large and expensive to be effective. This isn’t the case. The United States Postal Service recently found that postcards are the most likely form of mail that is read or scanned by consumers.
Like an online ad, by focusing on grabbing the reader’s attention with calls to action, graphics, etc. you can ensure that the reader will notice your content. And with 98% of consumers bringing their mail in the day it’s delivered, you can ensure its read quickly. Stay away from formats such as a No. 10 envelope. We usually see this format from a credit agency or when we receive a ticket in the mail. Nobody likes this, and accordingly, it won’t garner much attention from your audience.
Keep it Personal
As has long been the case, personal communications out-do generic and cold pitches. Go beyond simply adding a person’s name to the communication, find something that will stand out to them on a more personal level. Do some research and determine how to focus your content. A generic message that tries to cover issues for all platforms comes across as cumbersome, boring and not personal. You’ll find that it’s well worth a little extra time and small expense to ensure that your communication not only says the right thing, but also reaches the right people.
Timing is Everything
In the world of communication, timing is everything. And in this day and age, gone are the days of direct mail campaigns taking weeks to execute due to developing concepts, printing, etc. Today, marketers can take advantage of digital print-on-demand and have their products and ideas delivered to consumers in a matter of days. This allows you to be much more flexible in how you use direct mail.
For example, salespeople who complete a sales call can drop a postcard in the mail that day, thanking them for their time or even offering a special discount on a product they may not have otherwise had. This also provides a great opportunity to leverage the point above: keep it personal. Also, consider the time of year in which you are trying to reach your customers. Of course, sending out promotions for swimming pool supplies in November may just upset a customer and remind them of the enduring winter ahead.
As you can see, direct mail can still yield the lowest cost-per-lead while offering a high conversion rate. Using less expensive tools doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice impact on consumers. Make sure to choose the best format, keep it personal and consider the timing of the communication and you will see your cost-per-lead drop and your conversion rate increase.