You can’t ignore the reach and power of the internet and e-commerce if you want to run a successful business in these times. At the same time, if you wish to maximize the reach of your e-commerce website, you can’t ignore an older, tried-and-true method: direct mail. But can a traditional marketing technique like direct mail work for e-commerce websites? And if so, what are the benefits? Let’s take a closer look at the seven benefits of using this off-the-beaten-track strategy for your e-commerce website.
1. Avoid the Email Mob
Email marketing is rife with competition. All you have to do is to look at your own email inbox and spam folder and you’ll know this to be true.
Every other business in the digital universe—and every e-commerce website in particular—is attempting to reach potential and existing customers via email blasts. Your email scheduling and subject line have to be on point just to get some of your target audience to even open your message, much less spend any significant time reading it or responding to your call to action. Maybe you know this from trying email marketing already—it’s very easy to get lost in all the noise.
On the other hand, with the rise of digital marketing, direct mail marketing for websites or any other business has become a much more wide-open playing field.
According to Postal Facts, the United States Postal Service delivered 25% fewer pieces of mail in 2016 than it did in 2008. Approximately half of those deliveries were likely direct mail marketing pieces.
So, there are far fewer businesses using snail mail these days, especially when it comes to e-commerce. This gives your company an excellent chance of standing out by doing your website marketing using direct mail.
2. Outsmart Your Web Competitors
Like email, the web is a place of overwhelming competition. If you’re running an e-commerce website, you should certainly consider all the tricks of the trade that work for your particular niche, including banner ads, pay-per-click ads, pop-ups, social media ads/posts, and paid search.
But you should also contemplate a direct mail campaign simply because so many of your competitors aren’t doing so.
Using direct mail for your e-commerce websites may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually a clever strategy because you’re battling far fewer of your direct competitors for attention. Most of them are sticking to digital methods only. That’s where your advantage can be found!
3. Stand Out from the Crowd
Because email and web marketing are both so overflowing with competition, employing direct mail for e-commerce companies can be the strategy that makes you stand out from the crowd.
As mentioned, there’s no shortage of e-commerce websites plying their wares in the digital world via email or the many popular web marketing techniques.
But the traditional mailbox has become far less congested. This means that if you choose to do your website marketing using direct mail, your target audience is more likely to not only read your postcard or ad but also to act on it.
For example, according to the Direct Marketing Association, the average household response rate for direct mail is 5.1%, compared to a mere 0.6% for email marketing. This means your target audience is far more likely to look at your direct mail copy than at your email.
4. Inspire Greater Consumer Trust
There’s more to direct mail than just an alternative way to reach a target market for your e-commerce site. It can also provide a unique opportunity to build trust with your current or future customers.
It may sound odd to some, but people are more likely to trust a brand that reaches out to them via direct mail than via the web or email. Even if it’s an e-commerce website.
Direct mail communication is more concrete, creating a more significant emotional response and triggering an innate sense of trust. Of course, this also means it has a greater visual impact.
A study by the U.S. Postal Service Office and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making found that study participants spent more time with physical ads than with digital ads, even though digital ads were quicker at capturing attention. Physical ads were also found to trigger a more profound emotional response, which led to them being more memorable.
All of this gives you a greater chance of the customer acting on your direct mail message than on a web or email ad.
5. Foster Increased Engagement via Personalization
One of the more powerful aspects of employing direct mail for e-commerce websites is the ability to personalize your message to current or potential customers.
So, direct mail marketing, with its greater emotional impact, can be a far more effective way to connect to your target market on a personalized level. Just it’s very physical nature makes this so. Add to this the ability to customize imagery, text, URLs, and offers and you have yourself a unique opportunity to connect with each prospective and existing client.
6. Give Your Promo a Longer Shelf Life
These days, the average consumer might be subject to dozens or even hundreds of promotions every day through email and web marketing. And they blow by them while browsing or immediately delete them from their email inboxes in the blink of an eye. The shelf life of a digital ad is brief, to say the least.
But because few e-commerce websites make use of direct mail, your mailer or postcard may arrive without much in the way of the company. This means your target audience is more likely to actually see it. If something about it catches their attention, they’re also more likely to act on the physical offer.
Moreover, a postcard or other type of mail piece will likely be left somewhere around the house after it’s initially received. This means it could be looked at again by the same person or even by another potential customer in the home.
7. Boost the Quality of Your E-Commerce Website Traffic
Not only does direct mail increase the chance of new and existing customers coming to your e-commerce website, but it also improves the quality of your site’s traffic.
By its very nature, acting on a physical ad for a digital business requires more effort on behalf of the consumer than clicking on a web ad. When your potential customer receives your printed coupon in the mail, they must manually type in your site’s URL or the customized offer URL on their smartphone or computer. Or if you have a QR code, they have to open up an app or their camera, scan the code, then go to the website.
Because it takes some effort, this is a quality lead. This person is more likely to spend more time on your site and also to act on your offer, plus they’re less likely to “bounce” to another site. And a greater number of quality leads means improved quality of overall site traffic.
Direct Mail for E-Commerce Websites
Direct mail marketing for websites is an underused strategy.
If you’re seeking to launch a remarketing campaign using the data from your e-commerce website customers or current customer database, you can send out postcards with special loyalty offers, seasonal sales, or new suggestions based on past purchases.
You can also target new potential customers via a mailing list for e-commerce websites or via your own website visitor data, making your offers more personalized and effective through coupons or postcards sent through the mail.
At North American Media, we believe in the power of great advertising. Our team specializes in a variety of advertising mediums including direct mail for e-commerce websites, television and radio broadcasting, print advertising, and digital marketing. Contact us today to learn more.
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