When we talk about multichannel marketing many marketers fail to
include direct mail in the mix and concentrate only on the digital
world. However, as we can see from the article below, this approach
is flawed. While incorporating online channels into your marketing
efforts is vital, we can't overlook customer preferences, many of
which prefer to receive printed materials over email for some types
of communications. By simply cutting print entirely and forcing the
consumer into an entirely online relationship you may end up
cutting off communications with some customer's altogether.
While email does have its advantages, for both marketers and
consumers, we can't overlook the fact that more email than ever is
being sent to consumers, clogging their inbox's, sometimes causing
your message to be lost in the crowd. Consumers will only open
emails that are relevant to them and that are from trusted brands.
One way to build that brand trust is to offer customers a choice of
what they want to receive and how they want to receive it.
The key is to ensure that your message is consistent across
channels and relevant to the consumer you are targeting. By
offering customers a choice and delivering on it, you will maximize
your marketing dollars by increasing your ROI.
Direct Mail Dominates as Customers' Preferred Information
Though considered outdated by some, direct mail holds an
emotional connection, making it the favored mode of brand
communication for U.S. and Canadian consumers.
Papachristos | Published 12/20/2011 in 1to1
Just like a gift at the holidays, receiving a letter in the mail
brings with it a childlike sense of excitement. But now, with the
technological revolution afoot, much of our mail arrives
electronically, becoming a nuisance rather than a pleasure.
However, when it comes to brand communications, U.S. and Canadian
consumers continue to prefer "old school" direct mail above all
other forms of contact.
According to Epsilon Targeting's 2011 Channel Preference Study,
"The Formula for Success: Preference and Trust," 60 percent of U.S.
consumers and 64 percent of Canadian consumers enjoy checking their
mailboxes each day, signaling an emotional connection with direct
mail. The study, which polled 2,226 U.S. consumers and 2,574
Canadian consumers, also reveals that 50 percent of U.S.
respondents and 48 percent of Canadian respondents pay more
attention to postal mail than email. Additionally:
*Thirty percent of U.S. respondents and 50 percent of Canadian
respondents said they're receiving more direct mail that interests
them as compared to a year ago.
*There's a perception that reading email is quicker than sifting
through postal mail. However, only 45 percent of U.S. respondents
agreed with that in 2011, down slightly from 47 percent in 2010,
suggesting that clogged inboxes are increasingly a time drain.
*This year saw a 66 percent increase in consumer product
information research and review via Facebook. Yet, 33 percent of
U.S. consumers and 31 percent of Canadian consumers said that they
don't find advertisements on social media sites useful.
*Thirty seven percent of U.S. respondents and 29 percent of
Canadian respondents use television to get consumer product
information daily, down from 43 percent and 35 percent,
respectively, in 2010.
*The least trustworthy channels are social media and blogs,
garnering only 6 percent and 5 percent of U.S. and Canadian trust,
*Of those who prefer email over postal mail, 34 percent of U.S.
respondents and 42 percent of Canadian respondents cited saving on
paper as their main impetus.
Key takeaway: Acting on customers' contact preferences
facilitates customer trust because customers then feel that they're
in charge of how and when they're contacted. To convey brand
communications in an effective, successful manner, marketers must
first come to understand which channels appeal to which customers
during various points of the purchase cycle. This will allow
marketers to build a cross-channel marketing strategy that
reinforces information shared offline and vice versa.