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Online Business & Physical Mail – Exploring the Trend

Online Business & Physical Mail – Exploring the Trend

Iain Schofield • 26 June 2019

Recently, web-based businesses (such as freelancer directory Portl) have escaped the digital marketing vacuum by using targeted direct mail to send customers online. Sending physical direct mail to drive traffic online might seem an odd concept, but we’ve been exploring the thinking behind this emerging trend.

People buy from people

While online businesses enjoy a number of advantages over their bricks and mortar counterparts, they also endure some unique challenges. Chief among these challenges is creating a brand voice that conveys authority, authenticity and personality; as the old adage goes, ‘people buy from people’. The owner of your local coffee shop doesn’t face this challenge. You know they’re real, you can see them topping off your cappuccino with a dusting of cocoa; an online business selling an innovative app however, needs to work harder to earn your trust. That’s where direct mail can help.

Adding direct mail into the marketing mix immediately takes abstract online businesses and makes them tangible. To put it another way, physical direct mail grounds online businesses in reality, lending real world credibility to their online presence.

Send it and they will come

Despite some misconceptions, mail and online have a great relationship with direct mail proven to be an effective way to get customers online*.

*92% of people reported being driven to online activity as a result of receiving direct mail – Royal Mail Market Reach survey 2014

Including Interactive elements like QR codes, can help make the transition from offline to online even smoother.

person using QR code

Far from the madding crowd

Getting seen in the bustling online environment can be tough, requiring expert SEO (search engine optimisation) and cutthroat PPC (pay per click) bidding. By contrast, direct mail allows online businesses to showcase their wares in a less competitive marketplace; earning precious seconds with customers away from competitors and other distractions.

Joining up the dots

With a wide range of formats and highly customisable content, direct mail can be easily integrated into existing marketing channels and campaigns. Direct mail pieces can accommodate diverse content, making them suitable for everything from snappy mailshots to detailed brochures.

So, while digital marketing remains a crucial component in the success of online only businesses, direct mail is certainly a shrewd addition. Lending legitimacy, building authority and driving customers online.

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