I would wager that most business owners under the age of 35 probably have never even considered running a direct mail marketing campaign for their business. Having grown up in an increasingly paperless world, the mere concept of spending precious marketing dollars on printing up thousands of pieces of paper to stuff into mailboxes across a large swath of people seems pretty crazy to the younger generation of entrepreneurs – and it’s not a baseless feeling. There’s no denying that the business world (and our world in general) has been dramatically swinging toward the quicker, more efficient, much cheaper, and much more environmentally friendly realm of electronic communication. But does direct mail marketing actually work?
Digital marketing methods such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing, e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, and optical disks and games are becoming more common in our advancing technology. In fact, digital marketing now extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback, and on-hold mobile ring tones. In essence, this extension to non-Internet channels helps to differentiate digital marketing from online marketing, another catch-all term for the marketing methods mentioned above, which strictly occur online.
If you sign up for something and the terms include words like "Sign up to receive updates from us and our partners that we think you'll like," your email address is likely being collected for a shared or sold list. A subset of this method is called co-registration. This is where you sign up at a website, but that website also automatically, or nearly automatically, signs you up for other sites. They try to legitimize this by informing you of the additional subscriptions, or providing boxes to uncheck. This is a situation where it's not the subscriber’s intention to sign up for the material they will be receiving.
This is a process described by Seth Godin known as permission marketing. The core concept of this idea is that you never market to someone that doesn’t want it, you first have to ask them for their permission. When someone signs up to your email not only do they become a warm lead but they give you their permission to send them offers and to market to them.
Although online marketing creates many opportunities for businesses to grow their presence via the Internet and build their audiences, there are also inherent challenges with these methods of marketing. First, the marketing can become impersonal, due to the virtual nature of message and content delivery to a desired audience. Marketers must inform their strategy for online marketing with a strong understanding of their customer’s needs and preferences. Techniques like surveys, user testing, and in-person conversations can be used for this purpose.
If you want to operate an email blast campaign as a part of your marketing strategy, then you need to send the emails out regularly. If it is too long between emails, then the recipient might not even remember what your content has to offer. However, you do not want to send them too frequently. If the consumer is getting an email from you every other day, then they might get annoyed and stop reading altogether.
Several reasons are behind the reluctance to purchase online. Studies published in 2003 and 2004 reported that 25 percent of e-commerce sites do not display a phone number clearly on the customer service page; 49 percent of online shoppers could not readily find the answers to a question; and 88 percent of shoppers abandoned their online shopping carts before reaching the checkout. The Yankee Group, a Boston-based research firm, indicated that up to the first quarter of 2003, the average conversion rate from shopping in brick-and-mortar stores to buying on e-commerce sites was just 10 percent.
An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.