There is an abundance of marketing research that clearly points to the fact that traditional mail marketing continues to lose its effectiveness. While there are multiple factors that contribute to the declining fortunes of direct mail, the principal cause of this setback is poor performance in the face of the ever-burgeoning volume of digital communication.
The Rise of the Chatbot
The most comprehensive and well-designed studies into online marketplaces, such as Amazon and Alibaba, inform us that consumers spend more time engaged in digital commerce than they do in traditional, or so-called “bricks and mortar”, shopping.
This is the primary driver behind the growth and profitability of e-commerce and, as a result, its effect on the world of direct mail marketing is clear. With fewer consumers spending time in stores and making fewer purchases; marketers have less opportunity to make a sale via the traditional mail channel. This is bad news for the industry, especially as fewer people are opening and engaging with their mailboxes every day.
If we compare this behavior to what we’ve seen in the past, it’s somewhat surprising that mail has not yet fully adapted to the digital era. The answer, as usual, is a combination of technology and business model. Although there are some standout success stories, such as eBay continuing to grow its business despite a saturated market and the enduring popularity of Amazon Prime mail service, the vast majority of marketers are still scrambling for ways to boost their income from the inboxes of their customers.
Fortunately, as more and more people gain familiarity and comfort with interacting in real time via text messaging or chatbots, traditional mail marketing is beginning to rise from the ashes as more and more consumers turn to digital channels to seek answers and make purchases. This trend is supported by the fact that, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 66% of consumers prefer to research products online, while only 24% prefer to look for products that come with a warranty and a face to face conversation.
Why Aren’t Consumers Buying “Bricks and Mortar”?
Although we live in a world of digital abundance, the truth is that many people still value the security and credibility that comes with a tangible item. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 59% of consumers still want to see a sign that a company stands behind what it promises, while 48% want to purchase something from a brand that they’ve heard of before. These figures confirm the enduring allure of “brick and mortar” shopping, especially as we head into the holiday season.
How Can Marketers Ensure Success In The Face Of The On-going Opportunity For Consumers To Research Products Online?
To answer this question, marketers need look no further than their competition. Since our research clearly indicates that consumers prefer to research products online and choose them digitally, the logical place for marketers to focus their attention is on ensuring that their websites and social media platforms provide the best possible user experience.
From a consumer perspective, the best scenario is for a marketer to create a positive impression that will compel them to purchase the product or service in the first place. Once this initial engagement has been achieved, the onus is on the marketer to continue the conversation, convince the consumer to make a purchase and delight them with excellent service after the fact. To do this, marketers must develop content, whether that’s an ebook, whitepaper, video or something else, that will keep their audience engaged and compel them to take further action.
Marketers Must Adapt As The Consumer Changes
With every innovation and shift in consumer behavior, marketers must adapt and change their approach to reach their desired audience. The world of direct mail marketing is no different. While there have been incredible advancements in digital marketing technologies over the past decade, the fundamentals of marketing (notably: strategy, budget and measuring success) have not changed. This is what makes traditional mail marketing so appealing to marketers – it is very, very simple.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 66% of consumers prefer to research products online, while only 24% prefer to look for products that come with a warranty and a face to face conversation. These figures confirm the enduring allure of “brick and mortar” shopping, especially as we head into the holiday season.
As our world becomes more digital, marketers must continue to explore new ways to engage with consumers. While there are many benefits to a digital marketing approach, marketers must always keep in mind the “costs” associated with constant innovation, change and adapting to consumer behavior, including;