Direct helps retailers pull in the customers
Location, location, location. Every retailer knows that’s the key to success. But direct mail, direct mail, direct mail turns out to be key as well when it comes to bringing customers into the stores.
In its annual Customer Focus 2005: Direct Marketing Survey of 2,000 consumers, Vertis Communications, a Baltimore-based provider of media and marketing services, uncovered that 73 percent of direct mail readers read direct mail from retailers, which is up from 70 percent in 2003. That’s music to a direct marketer’s ears. But even more interesting was that 24 percent of adults who had read direct mail from a store where they typically didn’t shop visited the store within the next 90 days.
Those are compelling figures when you consider how difficult it is to get consumers’ attention to begin with. “Despite all the competition from other types of advertising messages, retailers are getting customers not only to read their direct mail but also to actually come into their stores, even though these consumers have never or rarely been there,” says Jim Litwin, vice president of marketing insights at Vertis Communications. “It’s a testimony to how powerful direct mail can be when the right message is targeted to the right audience.”
TARGETING GENDER AND AGE
Perhaps not surprisingly, women led the pack in the Vertis study. About 30 percent of baby boomer women reported that they had visited a store in the most recent 90 days in response to a mailer from a retailer that they normally didn’t patronize. That compares to about 26 percent of Gen Y women and 22 percent of Gen X women.
But while the women reported to be more responsive to direct mail as the age group increased, men trended in the opposite direction. Baby boomer men apparently leave the shopping to their wives: only 19 percent said they had responded to a mailer. Younger men were more responsive, with Gen X at 28 percent and Gen Y at 24 percent.
The big surprise is that income level made almost no difference. For those with incomes below $100,000, about 25 percent of all age groups, male and female, went to the new store in response to a mailer. For those with incomes of more than $100,000, just 18 percent made the visit. (Apparently, they had already bought everything they needed.)
“With the huge number of products competing in the marketplace, consumers are always seeking information on the prices and selections available to ensure they are getting the best value,” explains Litwin. “Adults have become more receptive to using direct mail to obtain this information, and it has proven to be an effective medium for retailers to connect with new customers.”Large Business, Medium Business, Small Business, Statistics