Irina Podolskaja, Strategy Manager at the Intense Growth HUB, talks about the issues to consider as a marketer when commissioning, creating, or approving media plans for campaigns. She also discusses how direct mail as a channel fits into today’s media mix, the marketing objective it can help to achieve, and how to evaluate the results of a seemingly immeasurable channel. This article is a collaboration between Omniva and Intense Growth HUB.
What to keep in mind when making media plans and considering a direct mail channel?
One of the first issues to consider is the size and profile of the target group whose decisions you want to influence. In the case of direct mail, it is important to think about how large a proportion of the target audience it will reach. For example, if the target group is geographically limited, direct mail can achieve a broad coverage of the desired target group. The size of the target group and the precision of the targeting will also affect the contact rate of the advertising channel. When designing the plan, we compare and contrast the contact rates of different channels to find the optimal balance between budget and results. When looking at channels with favourable contact rates, we can compare digital and social media with direct mail. It is also often important to consider the creative solution of a campaign and its potential to reach people across different channels. If the message is clear, the execution is well thought out and the specificities of the channels are taken into account, the campaign is immediately more likely to succeed. Direct mail offers a very wide range of possibilities for what can be done with a mailed advertisements to capture the attention of the target audience – it can be a product sample or a cleverly designed eye-catching classic flyer, giving enough freedom to present arguments and justifications.
What are the objectives of direct mail in the first place?
Regardless of the channel, a well-defined set of objectives is a prerequisite for any meaningful and successful campaign. The role of direct mail in media communication also depends largely on the marketing challenge we face. For example, direct mail is an important part of the media plan when it comes to generating interest and building trust in people to find new leads, i.e. potential customers or new employees. Similarly, a classic direct mail campaign aims to increase sales or increase the loyalty of existing customers. Direct mail is an excellent channel for maintaining customer loyalty because it helps to maintain a physical link with the customer base you have built up, which is the most valuable asset any business can have.
How can I check if direct mail works as a channel?
There are different ways to measure the effectiveness of direct mail, depending on the expected impact on consumer behaviour and awareness. For example, if the aim was to promote a product or service so that the consumer would consider it when making their next purchase decision, then we can measure performance by the number of enquiries or by a follow-up survey. In the latter case, we examine whether the number of people considering the product or service has changed in line with expectations. If the objective is that the consumer will take specific action as a result of the campaign, e.g. use a promotional coupon or invitation to an event that was sent, then we will use redeemed coupons/invitations as a measure of performance. For more complex and large-scale media strategies, we measure the direct impact of each channel on sales using an econometric model.
If you are interested in using direct mail in your next campaign, Omniva is currently running the campaign ‘How to capture the customer’. As part of the campaign, everyone who orders a direct mail print with home delivery before 20 February will be entered into a prize draw to win a printing service. The value of the prize is €500, which will be used to get the next direct mail print at a discount. For more information, visit http://omniva.ee/otsepost or firstname.lastname@example.org