Oct 01, 2011
Direct Mail Breeds Familiarity to Drive e-commerce Sales
When online retailers think about driving quality traffic to their e-commerce website, they often think of e-mail and, increasingly, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.). Indeed, e-mail and social media can be effective tools for driving traffic on the web.
So is direct mail.
An independent study called “The Multi-Channel Catalog Study” showed a positive relationship between direct mail and internet sales. According to the study results, not only do customers love to browse offline and purchase online, but mail catalogs, in particular, doubled sales and increased website traffic for both existing and new customers.
In exploring the effect of direct mail on internet sales, the study gives us three takeaway lessons:
1) Mail catalogs move consumers into the e-commerce sales funnel. Catalogs were found to be effective in driving more prospects into and through the sales funnel by increasing awareness as well as driving the actual purchase. Within the Postal Service study, catalog recipients made 16% more visits, viewed 22% more pages and spent 15% more time at the retailer’s website.
2) Mail catalogs impact e-commerce purchases across all customer segments. The study revealed that catalogs were effective in driving sales among new and existing customers. Consumers who received a catalog of a company from which they had not previously purchased were twice as likely to make a purchase compared to those who did not receive that company’s catalog. Further, existing customers were 33% more likely to buy from a retailer’s website after receiving a catalog.
3) Mail catalogs received in the last 30 days pack more e-commerce punch. The buyer conversion rate was significantly higher for recent catalog recipients. These recipients bought more frequently than those who received a catalog more than 30 days ago. This gives more reason for marketers to send catalogs with frequency, usually quarterly, with promotional postcards between mailings.
So online retailers benefit from integrating their online efforts with direct mail. Why is that? For one, visitors to the site are already familiar with your brand and your products or services. After receiving a couple postcard promotions and reviewing your catalog, website visitors don’t require as much convincing that your products or services are the ones they should buy and you’re the company they should buy them from.
These visitors have already been warmed up by your mailers; after all, they’re interested enough to go to the web to learn more. Essentially, direct mail makes cold leads warm while also ensuring the warm leads stay warm (so you’re covering both new and repeat customers).
Also, direct mail in conjunction with e-commerce makes measuring and testing quick and easy. At Click2Mail, it’s especially easy to test and tweak. Since there are no minimum volumes and your mailers are sent the next day, you can test several variations this week and have your response results in hand within a few days.