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In the Digital Age, Should We Put Money in Direct Mail?
By: Cindy Wendland
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Direct mail has an average response rate of 4.4% and isn’t as popular as digital media. Marketers are spending more of their budgets on social media and trying to build relationships with customers through Twitter and Facebook. It might just be our age, but every once in a while, we actually read the direct mail pieces we receive. Shockingly, some of them are good. That was the case with the Lexus Thank You mailer.

Lexus does a great job with customer service. Being a Lexus owner for a long time, we are accustomed to their reminder and follow-up calls. The Thank You mailer was a nice touch, so we decided to actually read it. We learned about some special exclusive benefits from LexusDrivers.com. Exclusive sounds great, so we checked it out.

One of our favorite features on the Lexus is that you can hold down the unlock button on the remote or key fob and it will open all the windows. It’s a great way to air out the car before getting in. LexusDrivers.com told us there were tons of other great fun things our fob could do. With Lexus RES+ you can remotely control many vehicle settings with your smartphone. With this last year’s cold winter, the remote engine start is a great feature so the car will be warmer and the seats heated. The door lock option is nice. Rarely do we forget to lock the car, but at least we can verify it if we want.

The carfinder option is what was really exciting. It combines the camera on your smartphone with GPS technology to help guide you to your vehicle. That would have been handy when we called the police thinking our car was stolen when we actually went in a different mall entrance and it was sitting in a different lot. Ooops.

The point is this. Sometimes those direct mail pieces actually have good, helpful information. According to the Direct Mail Association (DMA) Factbook for 2013, 65% of consumers of all ages have made a purchase as a result of direct mail. Maybe in addition to digital media, we should keep direct mail in our marketing campaigns as marketers and read them as consumers! We’re glad we did!

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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