Direct Mail is the New Telemarketing for Any Size Business
By Bill Mackrell
Vice-President Marketing, Pitney Bowes Canada
Millions of Canadians are saying “no” to telemarketers and “yes” to mail following the introduction of Canada’s National Do Not Call List that went into effect on September 30, 2008.
To gauge the reaction of Canadians to the new List, a Harris/Decima survey was conducted on behalf of Pitney Bowes Canada. The study found that 72% of Canadians surveyed intended to sign on to the DNC List!
While the Registry is meeting a long-awaited consumer demand, it will have a real impact on Canadian businesses. 61% of small businesses were unaware that they could be fined up to $15,000 per violation under the new policy, including the 47% currently using telemarketing.
Based on the results of similar registries in other countries, a significant portion of funds is expected to be transferred to direct mail. New technological advances in this area will give Canadian businesses the opportunity to target consumers based on numerous demographics.
As telemarketing use as a promotional medium is further limited, Canadian companies will be forced to find new ways to reach their customers and prospects. Some businesses will put more dollars behind e-mail marketing and traditional TV advertising. Some will invest in trade shows and events to reach their clientele. Others will turn to Direct Mail.
In response to the Do Not Call List, Pitney Bowes launched an online direct marketing tool called dmworks.ca. It provides every business in Canada with a cost effective way to enhance their brand and grow their business through the mail.
While many think e-mail has replaced traditional mail, this is simply not the case. In fact, today’s most powerful business communication tool is the mailstream. In the U.S., where the Do Not Call Registry has taken more than $6 billion out of telemarketing as a medium, most companies are moving as much as 35% into direct mail. Why? For starters, it’s personal, measurable, easy and cost-effective. According to The Direct Marketing Association, every $1 spent on direct mail advertising brings in $11 in sales — more than twice the return generated with any other medium.
Direct Mail narrows in on a targeted group of people who are likely to respond to your offer. You can address your customers by name, speak to them individually and appeal to their interests. This medium gives you the opportunity to physically place your message in the hands of your current and prospective customers.
Unlike traditional advertising, Direct Mail allows you to measure the success of your outreach. You can count the inquiries you receive or the number of coupons redeemed to see what impact your campaign is making on your business. You’ll be able to see what’s working and what’s not so you can make adjustments to future mailings.
Businesses know their customers welcome the control, privacy and security of Direct Mail. According to the study, 84% of Canadians consider mail delivered by Canada Post to be more private and secure than communications from the Internet. It is convenient, descriptive and persuasive. 49% of Canadians prefer to receive mail from companies they are currently doing business with, and 52% prefer to have their first-time business solicited through the mail.
Direct Mail is inexpensive and tightly targeted. Using mail effectively helps grow existing relationships, establish new ones and grow business. And unlike telemarketing calls, it’s friendly and non-intrusive.