Recently UK fashion retailer Next announced that it had re-introduced direct mail into its marketing mix and had experienced an increase in sales and new customers from it.
One of the reasons the company believed direct mail was profiting their business was because fewer brands are using it today. But is this really the case or could there be another reason why direct mail is experiencing a revival?
The Real Truth about trends in Direct Mail
We personally believe that it is far less about the number of companies using direct mail today and far more about people’s attitudes to this traditional form of marketing. Just looking at OfCom’s latest communication report you can clearly see that whilst companies spend on direct mail is in decline (falling by 14.1% in 2013) they had forecast a 0.6% rise in 2014 and again in 2015, suggesting that perhaps people’s attitudes are changing towards it.
One of the reasons behind this change in attitude towards direct mail is that companies are now seeking out better ways to build relationships with their increasingly savvy customers. Brands know that customers are not just going to be happy with a standard newsletter every now and then or the occasional offer via social media. They expect brands to put effort into personalising their communications and work hard to win their loyalty.
Direct Mail Targetting Younger Customers
Younger generations of customers are also likely to respond well to direct mail as it is still something that is relatively new to them, almost like a novelty. This is something that brands with a younger target audience have cottoned on to and is likely to be why we are seeing a rival in this marketing format.
Although Next is claiming that few retailers are using direct mail , this is not strictly true as many other brands still use it to engage with customers, particularly in the fashion industry where building relationships with customers and providing personalised recommendations (kind of like a personal shopper) is key.
The success of Very’s Direct Mail Campaign
An example of a fashion brand that has recently experienced much success through using direct mail is very.co.uk. During its recent ‘Love Your Wardrobe’ campaign it used a mix of email marketing and direct marketing to learn information about their customers and provide them with personalised insights. Their campaign was so successful that it created 12,667 new customers, exceeding their target by 22% and generated four times over its predicted ROI, highlighting just how beneficial and profitable direct mail can be.
With news of all these direct mail marketing successes along with the increasing demands of consumers, we expect that more and more brands will begin to re-focus on it in the coming months. However it is important to remember that sending out any old mail shot will not necessarily provide the desired results. It’s all about creating high quality content that is valuable to customers and shows them that you are capable of meeting their needs.
If you would like to discuss any aspects of Direct Mail we’d be delighted to speak to you. Please call Baker Goodchild on 0800 612 1972.
Image Credit: Robin Kristian Parker