And not Or: Pairing Digital and Direct Mail Campaigns

By 2019 spending on digital advertising surpassed print, tv, news in the United States at $108 billion annually and is projected to reach over $172 billion annually by the end of 2021. For the first time since their inception, digital ads will outspend all other forms of consumer marketing. 

Digital Facebook Ad ZOOM Media

Facebook’s Marketing Strength

Facebook announced earlier this year that nearly 40% of its ad revenue is generated by small business, which is concerning as many small businesses, almost 50% in California alone, are preparing to close their doors permanently this year. However, even with businesses shutting their doors all over the country, Facebook boasted record earnings for Q3. This shows that while many other forms of advertising and social media are available, Facebook still holds market share that can weather. When looking at the company’s userbase that boasts a membership of nearly 80% of all internet users, the audience, and data that can be accessed is unparalleled.

However, even as trends shift towards digital advertising and email, our clients still see about a 1% response rate, while print advertising continues to average between 5 and 9% according to the Data and Marketing Association. To better understand the value of each of these mediums, and whether or not one is more important than the other we have to consider both costs and efficacy, which are difficult to compare when success of each medium is measured in different ways. For digital advertising the two main costs to consider are CPM (cost per million) and CPC (cost per click) where Facebook sits at $0.80 CPC and $5.12 CPM on average. These prices vary drastically, where something like a shoe company will be attempting to outprice businesses like Nike, a local flower shop may see little to no competition if they position themselves correctly. 

These numbers might sound good, in fact any marketer loves to hear that they can reach millions of customers for the cost of a five dollar bill, but we have to monitor the response rate. After all, if we are receiving a 1% response rate, that could mean someone simply visited the site through that channel, many times bouncing off of the intended site as quickly as they appeared on it. What is perhaps most significant is how cheap it is to get your brand viewed consistently on Facebook, and when paired with a cost effective mail piece, who’s response is much more intentional, we see the best results. 

Direct Mail Marketing ZOOM Media
ZOOM Media Direct Mail Example: Ravenswood

Track and Scale Accordingly

Now how can we measure the success of directing customers through these two channels so we can scale up or down accordingly? Google Analytics provides unique UTM codes which can be attached to each campaign. Whereas before when we only had the analytics of how many people viewed our site or how long they stayed, UTM now allows us to track the medium in which they were brought to our page. Because each campaign is unique, and many businesses are not sure of their exact target demographic, these tools allow for AB testing on multiple pieces and a way to track what channels are most successful, and allow us to hybridize our campaigns in unique ways for our unique clientele. 

The Case for Catalogues, Why Even Amazon Has Bought in

Each business must work to find a successful combination between digital and print marketing. Providing alternative methods increases your likelihood of reaching a potential buyer, but how do we figure out which medium will be successful for the right demographic, or even the right product? In today’s market e-commerce sites like Amazon have invested into print catalogues with measurable success, even among millenials. While digital channels have been expanding over the last twenty years, so have print catalogues, and their returns have been impressive to say the least.

In Jonathan Z. Zhang’s recent Harvard Business Review study, he found that not only have catalogues increased in production, they have shown a nearly 200% increase in response rate since 2004 alone. To better understand what industries would see these results and how businesses should target consumers with an expensive print piece like a catalogue, which can cost more than $1 USD per piece to produce and distribute, Harvard partnered with an online jewelry retailer to test the market. What were the results? The jewelry retailer claimed a 600% ROI. 

The next two questions after seeing such high results are: how did they measure this success and, considering monthly jewelry sales can see large influxes around times like holidays, how did they establish a control group? One group of clients were sent a promotion email, while the jewelry retailer layered on a catalogue with the email in the second group. The catalogue group saw a 49% sales increase compared to the 28% seen in the email only. Perhaps just as significant, the catalogue group saw a 125% inquiry increase compared to the email campaign’s 77%. The results e-retailers should pay attention to: layering on high quality print pieces in targeted campaigns not only drives traffic to your site, but measurably increases sales.

With much of the country behind a computer for longer periods of time, especially during lockdown, noise is at an all-time high in the digital ad space. In layman’s terms, print pieces still have a role to play in marketing mix, as long as they are concise, high quality and provide some form of value to the consumer. 

Ahead of their time: QR Code’s roaring comeback

As you navigate the world in the Covid-19 era you may be seeing funny barcode square on billboards, restaurant tables and even postcards. This is the Quick Response (QR) code and it has had a massive resurgence in the past few months. QR codes have been around since 1994, but app developers are the ones who began utilizing them for websites and personalized information in the early smartphone days. These codes rely on their two dimensional set up to store much more information than a traditional one-dimensional bar. In fact, they have been shown to store so much data in one code that recently a Youtuber by the name MattKC was able to put the entire arcade game Snake into a single code. 

QR codes were originally considered a failure by many, mainly due to the need to log in to your app store, find a free QR scanner application, download it and then use it (most likely once) on your limited storage smart phone.  Most people would see codes on the back of cards or in store windows and wander past without a second thought. Today however, QR readers are pre-programmed into your phone, meaning the user simply needs to hold their phone’s camera up as if they were taking a picture. 

In today’s world everyone wants as little physical contact with their surroundings as possible, so QR codes have become some marketer’s best friend. What does this mean for ZOOM clients? QR codes are the new bridge between print and digital. Where many companies try to figure out different mediums to reach their target market, and slowly roll out a campaign, we can develop a streamlined program to launch direct mail postcards and pamphlets with a call-to-action QR code directing them to an online interface. This is a perfect way to drive traffic to online ordering, program registration or a donation gateway.  The possibilities are endless.

Check out our services by holding your phone’s camera to the QR code below, or contact Adam at 925-478-9009 or for more information.


ZOOM Media

ZOOM Media