The Direct Mail Comeback
Some people, especially Marketers, have heard that direct mail is in decline, but for the first time in years companies like JC Penny are bringing back their big catalogue. Why? Because it´s highly effective and helps build stronger brand recognition with consumers. According to Target Marketing, 79% of consumers say that they act on direct mail immediately and 56% of consumers stated that they found printed marketing to be the ´most trustworthy´ of all media channels.
So I wanted to see how some of our most innovative retailer clients were using direct mail:
(Leland Kass, VP of Marketing & Press at Jonathan Adler) Direct mail is something we´re increasingly investing in. When I got here a little over a year ago we were doing 2 major catalogues a year. We´re now doing 3 - we´ve increased the page count and most importantly we´ve increased the circulation, because as our product niche changes and as we want to be growing in our audience we need to constantly be in front of new customers.
It´s not just about one book being big and beautiful, it´s really about the frequency that you´re in front of them so you´re staying top of mind. This year it´s about continuing to do our Spring and Fall catalogue and also to pepper in smaller mailers. Our big catalogues are furniture focused and they tend to be higher price point items, but we never want to lose sight of the fact that we do offer a lot of cash-and-carry items and we do have a wide range of price points. The summer mailer is really just a tri-fold...it has a heavy acquisition lean towards it, but it´s much more about smalls, about the punctuation, adding a pop of color to your summer dining table.
We are continuing to do a wide mix of direct mail; we are far from abandoning it. We´re investing in it more than we ever have and we´re being really strategic about the audience we´re going to. We´re looking at the results after every mailer so we can understand which demographics are performing and which geographic regions are performing.
(Kristen Gilligan, Marketing Manager, CRM at Lilly Pulitzer ) We really rely on direct mail to communicate with our top consumers but we also utilize it for our new. That first conversation happens through email, through a welcome series and we then strategically chose the content they receive for a set period of time to ensure they´re well versed in our resort chic positioning, our brand heritage and our product offerings. Then we couple these digital communications with a personalized new consumer mailing promoting a mystery gift with their next purchase to drive them back to in-store or online. These pieces have done their job by aiding in conversion but the added bonus has been the social advocacy that we´ve enjoyed. Utilizing AgilOne and all that data to develop more personalized communication has really paid off, especially as it relates to direct mail.
On Lilly´s promotional strategy in general and use of direct mail:
We operate a full-price business and so our gifts with purchase are really our lever to get our girl to up her frequency in spend and throughout the year we mail our top consumers promotional pieces such as “lunch at Lilly” which drives them back on these big days. Looking at the data through AgilOne, this year we had a great opportunity in the Spring time to really reactivate lapsed consumers and send our communications to a wider base. We did that with a specific campaign and were able to achieve one of our highest promotional days.
It´s exciting that in today´s digital world, direct mail can be something unexpected and special for your customers if you use it strategically. Using AgilOne´s platform our customers are able to segment their consumer base and find the best time to reach out to new and existing customers to increase spend and brand advocacy. Direct mail can be especially effective for retaining important and highly profitable customers --so don´t disregard it when planning your next marketing campaign!
Next week we´ll discuss different ways to use email vs. direct mail and how both combined can lead to higher retention rates.