In a digitally dominated world, your clients and prospects are overwhelmed by emails, text notifications, pop-up ads, and other forms of instant communication. With many financial advisors adopting a digital-first approach to marketing, it may be time for advisors to go back to the tried and true—direct mail. While it’s true that digital marketing has become the sleek and shiny way to attract clients, it may not be the most effective.
Direct mail is far from dead and, in fact, might be your salvation for reviving your lead generation. Here are five reasons why that may be.
1. Your prospects are suffering from email fatigue
Consider your own email inbox. How easy is it to click through or delete all the emails that don’t interest you? Email may be cheaper, but it’s also more likely to be ignored. People are numbed by the volume of emails they receive and are almost conditioned to delete at will. On average, your prospects receive 605 emails every week, but only 17 pieces of mail each week. Why is that important? Because the average lifespan of an email is just 17 seconds compared to 17 days for a piece of direct mail. Which do you think has a better chance of getting opened?
It may surprise you to know that according to the Data & Marketing Association as much as 90% of physical mail gets opened and reviewed (compared to 20 to 30% of email) and that three-quarters of consumers say they prefer being contacted by physical mail because they can read it whenever they want. That’s especially true for older audiences. But studies have shown that even younger audiences have a positive perception of print mail advertising.
2. The proof is in the response rates
With all the digital marketing tools available, it seems counterintuitive to think direct mail response rates have been increasing in recent years. Perhaps for the reasons stated above, the response rate for direct mail has risen to 5% for prospect lists and 9% for in-house lists. How do these compare to your response rates?
3. There’s less competition
As more financial advisors jump on the digital train, fewer are sending direct mail. According to the U.S. Post Office, direct mail volume has been steadily declining over the last decade. Less direct mail in your prospects’ mailboxes increases your chances of grabbing their attention.
4. Direct mail is a perfect complement to digital campaigns
Direct mail should never be used as a standalone marketing strategy. Your prospects expect to be communicated to through the various channels they use. Marketers who effectively integrate both digital and direct mail receive 40% more responses than a digital-only campaign, and that messages received by direct mail drive recipients to take digital action 92% of the time.
Today’s direct mail can include QR codes, online promo offers, and unique URL addresses to websites that send consumers online to pursue additional information. Once they take digital action, they become trackable, and you can begin to engage with them through your digital strategies. All the data collected from their activities can help you improve the effectiveness of both your digital and direct mail campaigns.
5. You can improve results through personalization
The advent of digital marketing has made it possible to personalize your engagements with your prospects, which is critical in achieving high response rates. Today, variable printing solutions enable you to personalize your direct mail based on available demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioristic data. You can even have your prospects’ names printed along with a personalized call-to-action on the copy, which can increase your response rate.
You don’t have to go it alone
Some of you may be old enough to remember the days of photocopying letters, sticking printed labels on envelopes, stuffing them, and running them through the postal machine. That’s not what we’re talking about here. When integrated into a multi-channel approach that includes digital marketing, an effective direct mail campaign can seriously boost your response rates and your ROI.
To make it more cost-effective, it would be essential to partner with a direct mail marketer with access to data analytics, segmentation, variable printing, and fulfillment services. Let them do all the work while you wait for the leads to pour in.