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Don't Become a Zombie Marketer

I hear the moaning and groaning of an ever-approaching marketing decision. It's slow, has one focus and is determined - it's Zombie Marketing. They moan for more marketing channels but always navigate back to online marketing. Why? "Because that is where all our leads are coming from...our website." This is what I call Zombie Marketing; there's only one focus because they only see what is the easiest to see. Like The Walking Dead show all you have to do is step behind a bush and the zombies meander by, never seeing what is just inches away.  Of course your website or PPC program looks to be the best resource for leads - because that's the easiest channel(s) to track. As data analysts start to capture more unstructured data of consumer behavior when shopping and buying, they are finding that buying behavior is complex. Both online and offline play a significant role and understanding how to leverage your brand or product story across both, in a cohesive way creates more success. Here are some facts for you:
  • 94--96% of website visitors come to your site and leave without ever leaving you any information. ZM's are making decisions with limited investigation.
  • The 4-6% that do provide some information will record the wrong channel as their lead source when asked, "How did you hear about us?"
  • "Your website" is the generic response."
If you were to just go by what consumers tell you or your website analytics show you, it will lead you to putting all your money into SEO, PPC and your website. That Zombie focus leads to less success not more; you walk right past. We know it takes 12 touches or more before a customer will consider or convert. If you are only using online marketing, you limit the number of touch points and choose to ignore other vehicles that are more engaging and have their place in the buyer's journey. Direct mail can inspire a search, and drive someone to a store. Telemarketing to create intriguing discussions and insights. Why do I believe direct mail is working more than ever? I see more catalogs being mailed than ever before. I see other patrons at a restaurant using the same coupon card I was mailed, and I see my son holding onto direct mail that has been personalized to his interests. Like a phone call, a conversation, direct mail is tangible and is proven to have an impact. Facts to consider:
  • When direct mail follows an email, brand recall is 40% higher compared to recall for other single channel and integrated media campaigns.
  • The Direct Marketing Association relates the following response rates:
    • Direct Mail: 5.1%
    • Email: .6%
    • Paid Search: .6%
    • Social Media: .4%
    • Display Ads: .2%

The return on investment of using mail is proven.

A Canadian neuromarketing firm conducted a study for Canada Post that compared the effects of paper marketing (direct mail pieces, in this case) to digital media (email and display ads). Here are a couple of the findings:
  1. Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media, suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable.
  2. Overall effectiveness, referred to as the motivation-to-cognitive load ratio within the study, showed that direct mail scored an average 1.31 compared to 0.87 for all digital channels. This is significant because, in this type of test, values greater than 1.0 are indicative of broad in-market success.
Further, consumers who received direct mail offers were able to recall the brand 75% of the time. For consumers who received digital-only versions, the brand was remembered only 44% of the time. The DMA Response Rate Report states that direct mail offers “strong return on marketing investment,” with an average ROI of 15% to 17%. They also note that over-sized mailers, such as postcards, have the best response rates, at up to 4.25%. The picture below is an 11 x 24" (once unfolded), tri-fold mailing as an example of an over-sized piece. It was not only eye-catching, but told a great story. The response rate was 10%! ROI still to be seen as we work with designers to help them understand the "5th color" design. rsz_img_20191009_181908 So why don't more businesses use direct mail? It's expensive compared to the others. Unless you start looking at the return on investment versus the expense. Also, when you can integrate the channels to form one-voice the impact is much greater than just mail or online on their own.

USPS is not your father's mailing service anymore

The United States Postal Service is becoming the biggest holder of data than anyone. They've developed programs that inform the consumer of mail coming, and with that integration capture more data for companies like yours. With Informed Mail and Informed Delivery they finally got the message that integrating the online/email effort of what they do (deliver mail) ads value to their core offering. The USPS's Informed-Delivery has reached 11.8% national saturation and a 62% email open rate. For those of you not aware, Informed Mail scans the mailing before it reaches its final destination and then scans it again just before delivery. With certain platforms you can actually track that your mailer was delivered and when with pretty good accuracy. Further more, as more consumers sign up for Informed Mail, they also received an email from USPS telling them that a mailing is on its way. And with the right platform you can make the email clickable to your online ad or web-page. Add in call tracking and recording with a special forwarding number and now you can relate true ROI to yourdirect mail, and online efforts. Direct Mail has moved Beyond Mail and the more you learn about how to integrate it with your online efforts the more successful you will be. Or find the right partner with our Beyond Mail program and you can have it all at once. Don't get bitten by the Zombie Marketer bug, get your inoculation today by seeking out how to measure and track the other channels.  

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