Posted October 1, 2014 3:32 pm by with 2 comments

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neighborhood-413603-mHave you checked your mailbox today? Not the one on your computer or smartphone – that metal one in front of your house. Not as exciting as it used it to be, is it?

Let me put on my swami hat and guess what’s in your mailbox. . . . bills. . . . circulars. . . direct mail offers from local businesses.  .  . and a couple of you got a card from your mom. (You never call anymore.)

Even though most of us prefer email to physical mail, 81% of local businesses are still using direct mail as a way to reach customers.

Funny thing is, according to The 2014 Brandmuscle State of Local Marketing Report  even though more local businesses use direct mail, they’re more satisfied with the results they get from email.

So why are they choosing direct mail over email? 56% said email was too complicated. That’s a shame and sad because there are plenty of tools that make emailing easy and for less than most are paying for a piece of direct mail.

brandmuscle direct mail
Some forms of traditional, local marketing aren’t doing so well. 61% of small businesses are still paying for ads in the Yellow Pages (color me surprised) but the satisfaction ratings are low and spend is even lower.

Digital Adoption

I understand that online advertising can be daunting when you’ve never done it before, but I’m still amazed by the response to Brandmuscle’s survey.

  • 40% of local affiliates don’t use Keyword Search
  • 37% don’t use Facebook and 57% don’t use Twitter.
  • Despite a relatively high adoption rate (72%), one out of four local businesses we surveyed (28%) still doesn’t have a website.

Let me run that last one by you again. A quarter of local businesses don’t have a website.

And again, more marketers said they believe in the power of Facebook and Twitter but still aren’t using them because they’re too complicated. 61% of those surveyed said Facebook was too complicated so they had no plans to spend any money marketing on the site.

The most used marketing tool in the local biz tool kit is the old standby – the coupon. 83% said they use them and 77% were satisfied with the results. Me, too. I’ll never say no to a coupon.

  • Shelley Sweeney

    In this day and age, we’re all bombarded with marketing messages. In fact, we see an average 3,000 messages a day, but we only remember four. A majority of these marketing messages come through email, but are they making an impact? According to the Direct Marketing Association, direct mail has an average of 4.4 percent response rate, compared to email at a .12 percent response rate – an average 10-30 times higher for direct mail. Not to say that digital and direct mail shouldn’t be used together – the most successful campaigns utilize more than one channel and have some digital element, i.e. email, personal URL or QR codes. So, the window of opportunity is now – more and more businesses and marketing executives are challenged to deliver results. And direct mail just works. – Shelley Sweeney, VP/GM Service Bureau/Direct Mail Sectors, Xerox

  • s.ive

    Older less technologically orientated generations are still not as familiar with digital communications as businesses would like customers to be, anything that requires the use of a digital device can seem complicated and unnecessary. Direct mail requires no fuss as it is sent straight to your location, having to check and read numerous emails from businesses can seem a daunting task for anyone. Direct mail is also more personal and marketers use direct mail to keep a personal and physical relationship with their customers. This is a way for marketers to insure that their message physically reaches their target group and that it will physically impact their surroundings which provides security as with an email it can be deleted or sent to the spam inbox before it has been read. – S.Ive