As we enter into an increasingly digitized world, the barriers that exist between the advisors and their prospects are only getting larger. To add to this, the average American’s attention span is now down to just 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds in 2000). With more ways to advertise than ever before, and fewer seconds to capture your audience’s attention, why and how does direct mail break through the noise?
The Ultimate Gate Keeper
The ultimate gate keeper preventing you from you reaching your prospects is noise. That’s right, with all of the new advances in technology, media production, and new means of consumption (such as smartphone devices); information has become an overwhelming force injected into our daily lives at levels never seen before. We are so bombarded with information, in fact, that the average American now consumes more than 15 hours of it per day.
How Prospects Consume Your Information Matters
Information can come in many different formats: Text, Calls, Email, TV, Websites, Books, Seminars, Mail, Search Engines, Live Streaming, Letters, Brochures, Cards, etc… And the way that your information is being displayed, and the context, can have a huge impact on your marketing results. The question then becomes, which marketing channel allows you to get “your information” in front of the best prospects and allow you to have the biggest impact for those marketing dollars spent? The answer is direct mail, and here is why.
Let’s Start With The Data
Although data can be misused and misconstrued, it’s still important to try to be as objective as possible when looking at an investment. With that being said, some of the most recent data shows that across the board (all industries), direct mail response rates average a 3.7%, return. Let’s compare that with some of the other direct marketing channels: Mobile 0.2%; Email 0.1% for a Prospect list, Social Media 0.1%, Paid Search 0.1%; and Display Advertising 0.02%.
It’s clear that direct mail comes out on top and by some significant figures. But even more so, what about open rates? If no one is seeing your marketing, how can you be sure you’re making the biggest impact for your dollar? With direct mail, that answer is around 80-90% (with the 98% of households bringing in their mail every day.) The unfortunate and dramatic reality for those other marketing channels is that it doesn’t look good for them. Email for instance (which is widely regarded as the best online marketing channel online) comes in at an average open rates of around 20%. Wow, that pretty much means that 80% of your potential prospects aren’t even seeing the information you are trying to expose them to.
Not All Information Is Created Equal – Direct Mail Is Trusted
Some of the newest studies on media consumption are showing that not all information is created equally. As it turns out, there is much more distrust on information delivered online than there is offline. 62% of Americans under the age of 30 subscribe to the belief that, “important information is NOT available on the internet” along with 53% of those aged 30 and older who also agree. These statistics reveal a lack of trust with digitally delivered content. Consumers also reported they trust all forms of traditional offline ads more than online ads. Interestingly enough, a new survey by Allianz Life® found that more than three-quarters (76%) believe “there’s so much selling online that it’s hard to trust.”
What Consumers Prefer
Another recent study featured on AdWeek found that up to 54% of consumers preferred mail over all other forms of advertising. This should come as no surprise when you look at the fact that up to 48% of people will retain direct mail for future reference. What’s more surprising is that studies have also showed that direct mail makes a stronger emotional impact on the brain–resulting in longer lasting memories of the information seen as compared to their digital counterpart.
What It All Means
Capturing the consumer’s attention in the cluttered information world we live in today is becoming increasingly difficult. But as consumers get overwhelmed with online information, this proven marketing channel of direct mail becomes more and more valuable. Perhaps it’s because direct mail stands out against the back drop of digital clutter, or maybe it’s because we want to be distracted and unplugged from our virtual bubbles for a small period of time throughout the day. Whatever the reason may be, it’s clear that direct mail marketing is proving to be one of the most successful marketing channels in the year of 2016!