Can traditional marketing be effective?

Lilac James replies; absolutely, here’s 5 top reasons why!

If you are going hard into business development the obvious choice will be digital marketing forms and methods. However, the revival of traditional marketing has made an impact where digital forms cannot reach. Traditional forms of marketing can be seen as dated and are no longer an automatic choice when targeting new business.  Direct marketing however can be presented only to people who are suspected to have an interest or need in your company’s product, based on information gathered about them.

Common forms of direct marketing include:

  • Brochures
  • Catalogues
  • Fliers
  • Newsletters
  • Post cards
  • Coupons
  • Phone calls
  • Text messages


What is the idea?

While some marketing techniques aim to increase awareness or to educate markets about a company’s products or services, direct marketing’s sole goal is to persuade the recipient to take action. While getting a sale is the ultimate goal, some customers will not be ready to buy on-the-spot. But they might:

Visit a website

Call for more information

Return a postcard requesting a quote

Enter their name and email address

Make a purchase

Ultimately, follow up is very important for direct mail campaigns. Direct marketing can be more successful than other methods because you can make the message personal, making the recipient feel it is meant just for them. A seamless call to action is imperative as a guidance tool for customers to assume the direction you ultimately desire.

It is more cost-effective to market to buyers who have been identified as likely to buy. For that reason it also has a higher return on investment, since the likelihood of making a sale to a targeted customer list is higher to begin with.  It is measurable. Direct marketing uses a number of built-in ways to track the success of each campaign, allowing you to improve with each contact.


Why is it still effective?

1. People like the physical

People aren’t opening emails, but still sort through their mail. Less direct mail campaigns overall will make you more effective. If you send out consistent mailings, then people will see your brand often. Your messages won’t go to a spam folder. Instead, they’ll hit your customer’s physical mailbox.

2. People feel that direct mail is more personal than the internet

There’s something about receiving an email that can feel impersonal. It can take a long time for images to load, or they won’t load at all. With so many messages coming into your inbox, it’s hard to feel like any of them are special.

3. Physical mail leaves an imprint in the brain

Physical media leaves a “deeper footprint”, but touching something with your hands helps you commit it to memory. So when people receive direct mail, it can actually leave an impression on people’s brains.

4. Run targeted and more focused campaigns

We recently ran a much targeted direct mail campaign to Doctors surgeries UK wide.  GP surgery’s had to comply with new CQC cleaning standards under the Health & social care act. The campaign offered each managing practitioner a chance to have the new guidelines explained in a digestible format in order to be ready for any upcoming inspections.  Just over 1% of 2293 mailings converted to sale.

5. Using print to drive digital

Using direct mail however, doesn’t mean that you should disregard a digital social media plan. Research shows that printed direct mail is a great way to drive digital interaction. Being creative in your DM design helps to drive better results too and using ‘dimensional mail’ rather than traditional flat paper in envelopes has been shown to get significantly higher response rates in the B2B world.

Ultimately, we can see that traditional forms of marketing remain successful in a predominately digital age.  We must however, recognise the unity for both forms to co -exist, one reaches out and assists the other in being the best it can be.  Effectiveness is the key when running any DM campaign, consider your market and how best to reach them. Once you have established this you can then think about how they will respond and be there at the moment to capture that lead.

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