Information overload is a problem on a scale we’ve never seen before. To put this into perspective, according to IBM Marketing Cloud Study, 90% of the data on the internet has been created since 2016!
This seems impossible until you realise that the number of people logging onto the internet has grown by a staggering 42% in the last 3 years. There are also various contributory reasons that account for the growth, such as more mobiles and ease of access through mobile, the use of smart TV’s, as well as growth of internet access in 3rd world countries.
What Does Internet Information Overload mean to Businesses?
This translates into short attention spans and critical website load times. For instance, ‘The Trainline’ reduced their online latency across each step of the funnel by just 0.3 seconds and saw an increase of £8 million a year.
Large companies such as Amazon spend large sums on making sure their website is as fast as it can be on as many devices as possible.
In reality, not everyone has the wherewithal to carry this out.
Connection between the Internet and Print
- With the volume of information growing so fast it’s becoming ever more difficult to stand apart from everyone else, so, we need to be looking at all channels when communicating with our potential customers, to improve our chances of being noticed.
- Online, much of the content is consumed with little attention to who created it, so businesses are becoming less real and therefore, building trust with our audiences has become more challenging.
- Not everyone is online, and some people make minimal use of the internet in their jobs and some have different preferences on how they are communicated with.
This means building relationships with target audiences across the real and virtual world to gain an optimum result.
Print vs Internet – Attention Span of a Gnat
At the start of the article we talked about the issue of volume of information and the time it takes to access any online data and how this impacts engagement with your company – Although direct mail is still popular, the competition for mind space is far less competitive than online.
Once you can get someone to look at your physical marketing piece, a well designed and written piece will get more attention than most online content, because the act of picking it up is a higher level of engagement than most initial contact online.
Compare Print with Email
20% open rate for most is good, but the % that go on to further engage with your brand or company is way smaller.
Most people will pick up the postal mail and take at least a quick look through – which means if your message is clear, you’ve just gained what could be said to be an over 90% open rate, which means the chances of greater engagement has just been significantly increased.
People like receiving post
Receiving something in the post is seen as more personal than receiving something via the internet. It also makes your company more real and perceived as more trustworthy. There are numerous stats that show people spend longer reading post, by some considerable margin than email or content online.
For instance, blogs get an average of 15 seconds or less in general, which means little of the content is being consumed. Just take a look at your own website analytics and you’ll quickly see what’s happening.
Should We Go Back to Only Printed Matter for Our Marketing?
The answer is, of course – No, but combining them should absolutely be part of your marketing. As mentioned earlier some people spend limited time online, so you need to reach them by other means. An offline communication can often improve the online relationship because it builds a level of trust that the online world can’t.
We Talk to Friends on Multiple Channels – Businesses Should be Doing the Same
When communicating with friends today we use text, phone, social media channels, email and of course we sometimes actually talk to them!
The business of today should be doing the same – communicating on multiple channels. You’ll also find that as with friends, prospects and customers will have preferential channels, some will prefer email, some social media and some will prefer to receive something in the post. As with friends, the best results will come with multi-channel communication.
Sending Printed Matter in the Post is Perfect for Some
For some sending printed matter alone will be all that’s needed, but in reality, we know that using multiple channels will work best. The optimum marketing would evaluate which channel generates the best results for each given customer and then use this as the primary communication channel for that customer. Unfortunately, it’s never that simple because we humans are not robots, we change our minds.
Direct Marketing – Better Return Than Online
A good marketing campaign today will use multiple channels to reach its audience.
The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) data on ROI figures, show a £3.22 return on each £1 spent, which is 0.10p more per £1 spent online.
This doesn’t show the whole picture because, for many businesses, it will take a mix (online and offline) to achieve these results.
How to increase Your Direct Mail ROI
How good is your database? When was it last cleaned? You don’t want to send mail to people have died, moved or no longer wish to receive content / material from your company. Removing these from your data will just add profit on your bottom line.
On top of this, the better you can personalise the content the better the result. Doing these 2 things could see you be above average ROI with your direct mail results.
No Postal Print MEANS Less Profit
The bottom line is this – if you’re not putting post cards, letters, newsletters or some from of printed matter in the post to your customers and potential customers you’re leaving money on the table. In the same way meeting someone face to face is more powerful than a telephone call, sending a personalised communication in the post is more powerful than email.