Top UK businesses Sports Direct, Saga and We Buy Any Car fined £495K for unethical marketing practices. They used email and SMS to push marketing messages to customers who had not given their permission for their data to be used in this way.
This unethical behaviour is also known as being a nuisance, and messaging without consent can badly tarnish a company’s reputation potentially resulting in customers going elsewhere. There are many ways in which you can better target your audience which results in higher engagement and response rates without being unethical or risking hefty fines!
One of the best ways to do so is via the less invasive but still impactful marketing channel of direct mail which, alongside other marketing efforts and channels can dramatically increase engagement and ROI.
Once seen as an ‘old school’ way of marketing to the consumer, direct mail has bounced back in recent years and now is seen to be one of the best ways to market and communicate with customers. With research showing that consumers crave the real tangible and human interaction that a physical mail piece can provide, it should be part of your marketing mix.
Why you should use direct mail and the benefits
Well, firstly don’t be a nuisance like some of the other big brands out there (ahem Sports Direct!) who are constantly sending impersonal emails and SMS messages to notify customers and communicate with their audience, use a channel that has cut through!
2 in 5 consumers have said they are suffering from digital burnout so don’t be even more of a nuisance to them! By comparison, engagement in direct mail has never been higher (96%).
Whilst, OF COURSE, we would say consider direct mail as part of your marketing mix, what we’re not saying is switch off everything else. Every touchpoint has its place, and there is a halo effect felt when all channels are working together.
Mail and email work on different levels but can be very complementary for each other. Email is ideal for delivering messages that have a short impact and lifespan. Mail has a longer-lasting impact and helps build a positive relationship between customer and brand.
And direct mail’s value in the online world has also been shown by the 70% increase in online traffic being driven from a direct mail piece!
Mail can play a key role at all stages of the customer journey
As we said, every media channel has its place in the customer journey and its own key role to play. TV, for instance, drives mass brand awareness, email is great for quick updates, while social media is good for further engagement. Mail should be strategically integrated into the customer journey, working alongside other channels to deliver the maximum value.
As Royal Mail eloquently put it
“‘In-home is going to be a big part of our future for a while yet, with increased remote working likely to be a reality for millions of people. And, as the shift to online shopping continues, businesses and brands will need to work harder than ever to reach out, stand out and feel part of people’s lives.
Mail has always mattered. It now matters more than ever”
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.