The Future of Direct Mail: Strategies to Stay Ahead in 2024

In a digital landscape where inboxes overflow and social media feeds are cluttered with advertisements, direct mail offers a compelling choice for marketers looking to engage their audience in fresh and exciting ways.

Larisa Bedgood, Head of Marketing at Porch Group Media, and Michele Maxfield, GM of Welcome Wagon, share valuable insights and actionable takeaways to help you achieve exceptional results in your 2024 direct mail campaigns.

Key Topics

  • The power of personalized direct mail
  • What inspires consumers to take action
  • Testing your CTA
  • Direct mail to target movers
  • Integrating direct mail with digital channels

The Future of Direct Mail: Strategies to Stay Ahead in 2024

This transcript has been adapted from the webinar, The Future of Direct Mail: Strategies to Stay Ahead in 2024.

Michele Maxfield
GM
Welcome Wagon

|Let’s Connect

larisa bedgood

Larisa Bedgood
Head of Marketing
Porch Group Media

|Let’s Connect

Larisa:  One of the amazing things about direct mail is it’s so timeless. So much is focused on digital channels, but direct mail has an amazing response rate and can be very powerful.

direct-mail-stats

Michele, tell me, what are you seeing and what are some of the great things about direct mail that you’ve come across?

Michele:

Direct mail has made a great comeback, especially as digital becomes more saturated. I’ve seen so many customers over the years cut out direct mail and go all in on digital. But they end up coming back to direct mail because it works, and it delivers customers. Acquisition is key. 

I believe with direct mail, the big change is in the data.  At Welcome Wagon, we focus on new movers. And you need to reach them in channels that they use.  

We can see in the stats that 64% of consumers say direct mail has inspired them to take action such as visiting a website, heading to a physical location, or making a purchase.

So direct mail is key in the omnichannel journey of both offline and online touchpoints. These are all trends that we’ve seen and how direct mail really plays a key role in driving growth for our customers. 

With niche markets, whether it’s new movers or another niche such such as seniors for example – accessing the right data is key.

Larisa:

Before we move on to the next slide, one of the things that really caught my attention is that we see that 57% of millennials have made purchases from a direct mail piece. We tend to think of direct mail as maybe more geared towards Baby Boomers.  But a lot of generations look towards direct mail so don’t discount this channel.

Michele:

It’s not just the 55+ age group who care about direct mail, but younger generations like that tangibility as well.

Another great aspect of direct mail is the pass-through value. Up to four people get to see that direct mail piece, whether it’s your neighbor, friends, or your family, but that direct mail piece often gets passed along.

As an example, I recently got a $20 discount for dog food from my friend – she received it in the mail. They did not have the type of food I was looking for, so I am passing that coupon along to my mom. She has a couple of dogs. I’ve had it on my desk, I’m going to see her this weekend, so that is what reminded me to give it to her.

Unlike a digital impression which is here and gone in a second, the pass-on value with direct mail is huge. It’s fascinating when you account for that and how that plays into all the other channels.

Here’s a quick little quiz for you. how many advertisements do you think people see in a day? 

10,000 images a day is what research says – whether it’s on TV, online, driving, or in stores. So when you talk about acquisition and direct mail, it’s so key because people hang on to it and pass it along.

Direct Mail Drives Acquisition

Acquisition is the number-one use case. Everyone is looking to grow customers – and what stands out to fulfill this?  Very often it’s direct mail.  

No other solution that I’ve seen solves that problem quite so well in my experience.

direct-mail-drives-acquisition

Larisa: Yeah, that’s a pretty strong figure right there.

Michele: When you look at new movers, they spend as much in the first year that an average household spends in five years. So that a premium market that you’re looking at for acquisition. So that’s what we see as a niche market.

Larisa: At Porch Group Media, we also prioritize the new mover audience and I always call the move as a “permission to spend” event. 

Michele: Exactly. I know when I moved, I wanted new furniture, not just a new lamp and it was a time to spend because we moved. It’s just a prime opportunity to dig into customer acquisition and reach an untapped audience.

Larisa: And there’s some industries that of course use it more so than others, but it’s really appropriate for any range of industries even. We had done some research with The Harris Poll, and there is a stat that shows that within the first year, new movers are more likely to buy cars than the rest of the population, so there are some really interesting spending behaviors of this permission to spend audience.

Hyper-Personalization Through Trigger Campaigns: Timing and Targeting is Everything

Larisa: With any marketing channel, we hear about the importance of personalization. Before I really started learning more about direct mail from you, Michele, I didn’t know to the extent that direct mail can be personalized. What are your thoughts and insights on this Michele?

hyper-personalized-targeting-direct-mail

Michele: So at Welcome Wagon, the giftbook we send out to new movers is personalized with the household name. It’s really going back to the data, making sure you have the right data to personalize your outreach.

I think back on one incident in which I received a direct mail piece for diapers but it was so far off base at that time that it gave me a negative brand experience. So personalization is key to make sure you are sending the right message to the right people – and NOT sending the wrong message which can hurt your credibility and image.

Stats show that 80% are more inclined to do business with organizations that are tailoring their experience. Make sure you are using the right data to send communications that resonate with your audience and that are personalized and customized.  

Test Your Call-to-Actions

Larisa: We talked about this a little bit, Michele, the other day. What are some of the top call-to-actions that you are seeing your clients getting traction with?

Michele: The main ones that I’ve seen be the most successful over the years is offering something for free. Everyone loves something free. Another one is the buy one get one, the BOGO. That’s a successful one. Rounding out the top is the percentage off. I recommend always offering 20% or greater. 

Example CTAs:

Discounts and Savings: Offer price-reduction incentives.

  • Percentage Off: “Save 20% on your next purchase!“
  • Dollar Amount Off: “$10 off when you spend $50 or more!“
  • Buy One, Get One (BOGO): “Buy one, get the second item half off!”

Gifts with Purchase: A fantastic way to introduce new products or clear out stock.

  • Sample Products: “Get a free sample of our new skincare line with any purchase!”
  • Complementary Goods: “Buy a coffee machine and get a month’s supply of coffee pods!”

Loyalty Programs: Reward repeat customers and encourage continued patronage.

  • Points System: “Earn double points for every dollar spent this month!”
  • Exclusive Membership: “Become a Gold Member and get monthly exclusive deals!”

Free Trials: Ideal for subscription-based services or products.

  • Subscription Services: “Get a 30-day free trial of our premium subscription!”
  • Product Trials: “Try our new fitness equipment at home for a week, on us!”

Exclusive Access or Previews: Offer early or special access to products or events.

  • Product Pre-launch: “Be the first to try our newest product, exclusively for mail subscribers!”
  • Event Tickets: “Get early bird access to our annual gala!”

Did you enjoy this transcript? Watch the full on-demand webinar for more great insights on the future of direct mail marketing.

Related Posts

Get on the list!

Be the first to know when we share new content geared to help you attract your ideal customers!

Be the first to know when we share new content geared to help you attract your ideal customers!