Direct Mail for the financial services industry
Businesses in the financial services industry depend on their credibility to get business. Trustworthiness, stability, and integrity are the top factors that keep these companies going in the market. Any financial institution that fails to earn these things is likely to start incurring losses. Hence, it is of utmost importance that these features or qualities are strongly communicated to the people. Oftentimes, the communication gets complicated. It is not easy to reach out to so many people and convince them to trust the brand.
People will deal only with those companies that they find are honest and whose services are useful. Direct mail does the job of personally connecting with the audience and telling them that they matter and their contribution is valuable. Financial services providers use direct mail for communicating about their services clearly and gaining the trust of people. Moreover, direct mail marketing is an excellent way to make households a discussion spot about your brand. It does not focus on just one person; an entire household can view it, relate to it, and discuss using your services. According to a US survey, about 88% of purchase decisions regarding financial, auto, and retail sectors are discussed and finalized at home. It is not at all difficult to say that direct mail can effectively start a conversation with its shareable nature and push more and more households to respond to it – as the majority of the audience takes financial decisions only after consulting a known person.
The Powerful Return of Direct Mails
The last decade started with companies from all sectors using digital platforms for advertising, including the financial services sector. Although it got a good response from people, in the beginning, it has started to become more of a common form of advertising – one which people have seen, heard, and got tired of. When people pick up their phones or turn on their computers, they are likely to see non-personalized digital advertisements everywhere. The response rates of digital advertisements are lower than that of direct mailing. You need to think about what is missing and stopping people from responding to these random advertisements on their social media space.
Theoretically, there are a lot of missing factors in digital advertisements, including lack of personalization, inability to gain trust, untailored messages, and no targeted audience. It is an anonymous marketing method, wherein brands advertise and hope for the relevant audience to see and even act on their advertisements. It is also important to note that nowadays, digital advertising is getting costlier. As a standalone way of marketing, it cannot return the desired responses and long-term engagements. The financial services industry includes banks, mortgage companies, brokerage firms, and other organizations that have physical offices and want people to visit. A post on their brand page or group might not be able to persuade people to do so. Though there are several digital banks, they too use direct mails to create confidence in people’s minds using a personal touch.
Statistically, also, direct mails are ahead of online marketing. Direct mails are a novelty that helps finance-related businesses do something differently and impress their audience. Convincing becomes easier when people are impressed.
- Direct mails constitute an open-rate of about 90%, as compared to emails whose open-rate is only between 20-30%.
- 75% of direct mail recipients are able to recall brands easily, in contrast to the comparatively lower 44% digital advertisement viewers.
- In the US, 46% of people in the age group of 15-25 use ad blockers.
- 92% of millennials are influenced by direct mails to make buying decisions.
With such strong statistics, it is evident that direct mails have the upper hand in the world of marketing, and digital channels are slowly losing their hype. The cost of conducting direct mail campaigns comes down drastically when using a direct mail automation platform like PostGrid. It can help you send customized and targeted direct mails that make the audience feel special and valued at affordable rates. Using bulk discounts, you can further cut down the costs. In digital marketing, there are very few possibilities of thorough planning and cost-cutting.
Types of Financial Direct Mails
Financial direct mails can be sent in different formats like postcards, brochures, letters, and direct mail packages. The selection of a particular mailer format depends on the marketing budget and the objectives of the campaign. Financial institutions should consider various other factors such as target audience, type of services offered, and current competition.
- Letters are usually long and explanatory. They provide detailed information about the several services offered by the organization. Financial companies use this format to communicate all the minute details for better clarity and understanding. Direct mail letters are read by the audience as a basis to know more and make a decision. They are highly personal and contain a reply option for the recipients. Due to the number of pages, letters can get a little expensive, but they are a good way of generating leads.
- Postcards are smaller in size and are intact pieces of direct mail. They are more colorful, attractive, and simple in comparison to letters and brochures. Postcards are not meant to provide minute details; they are only meant to give highlights. Banks can use postcards to inform about their rate of interest, current retirement plans, and offers, in short, to induce people to know more about them. Usually, there is a CTA that tells them to call or visit their website for further details. Postcards do not have a reply mail option and are far cheaper than letters. They are simply used to build brand awareness and prompt people to take action. Even a small postcard with eye-catching images and bullet points can drive a lot of leads and conversions.
- Brochures are either single fold, double-fold, or tri-fold. Financial services providers can choose from these options according to the size of the content that they want to include. Brochures can be visually appealing and informative at the same time. Though there is not much to read like letters, they can be used to communicate enough information along with a blend of attractive graphics justifiably. Customer testimonials, real-life examples, biographies, illustrations, and charts can be incorporated into brochures smartly.
Furthermore, there are options to design, print, and mail various different types of letters, like generic and personalized. PostGrid allows you to select from any format, envelope type, address window type, delivery options, reply mail, and insert alternatives. We also give numerous images, templates, font, color, size, paper stock, and print options.
Other factors that PostGrid readily provides alternatives for:
- Mailing lists (based on demographics)
- Campaign scheduling (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, or other)
- Response channel (toll-free number, personalized URL, reply mail)
- Shipping (first-class or standard)
- Response analysis and follow-ups (follow-up postcards, automated emailing, or both)
Reasons for Direct Mail Effectiveness in the Financial Services Sector
Out of various online and offline channels, there are certain reasons why direct mail is extremely effective for marketing in the financial services industry. Below are some of the main reasons:
Banks, credit card providers, insurers, and other companies in the financial services industry have got complex proposals to make to their audiences. These propositions are often multi-layered and are written in complicated financial terms. The common man may or may not be familiar with these terminologies, making it difficult for the companies to communicate about their services in a simplified manner. Direct mail works effectively for the financial field because it is flexible enough to accommodate the complex marketing needs of financial institutions. There are no restrictions on the way you present your direct mail. It is not a 30 seconds ad where you have to tell everything with various restrictions. Hence, direct mails provide an unrestricted and flexible way of marketing.
Tangibility and Trust-Building
Many financial institutions struggle to build credibility and trust among the masses. These organizations, whether big or small, work on reputation and public awareness. These factors are the backbone of their business operations. Direct mails are tangible and give people a certain kind of authority to see, test, and decide for themselves. They often contain certain offers that induce people to take a demo or visit a branch. After this step, people can decide whether they liked it or not. Direct mails can be well-crafted to win over people’s trust and create confidence in the organization. Moreover, after taking the desired action, there are more chances of conversions than people who are unaware of the offered services.
Marketing to Millennials
With the help of targeted mailing lists, direct mails give you the option to advertise your services to a specific class of people. Millennials are a class who are well into their adult lives and are starting various new things in their lives – setting up a career, starting a family, buying a house and a vehicle, taking insurance plans, and most importantly, saving. These youngsters are very likely to be converted into customers if advertised in the right manner. Direct mails allow you to target and connect with them personally.
Variable Data Printing
With the help of variable data printing, every direct mail can be personalized easily. PostGrid can help you in personalizing direct mails to resonate with your audience effectively. Personalization is the key to conduct a successful direct mail marketing campaign. You can customize your designs, offers, texts, and CTA – as per the demographics that you have. Financial institutions tend to find the key reason why a person needs their services and advertise accordingly. This way, both the financial services providers and the people are benefited – as they both receive what they wanted.
There is tough competition in the financial services industry; every company is looking for different ways to get more and more customers. However, direct mails are still used less frequently than other online marketing channels, making them exclusive. You can beat your competitors by stepping outside the digital world and connecting with your targeted audience on a personal level. In general, people are actually excited to get something in the mail. It is like a break from online platforms and offers refreshment. Direct mailing is classic. People still love it and are looking forward to it, providing a reason enough for financial services companies to use this effective method.
Direct mails can help financial institutions get lifetime customers. Advertising on digital channels will definitely give you some leads, but the lifetime value is low. Moreover, conversion rates are higher in direct mailing. The financial services industry requires customers that will stick with them for life and give value to their business. These kinds of valuable responses can be guaranteed only by using direct mails. Online advertisements attract non-reliable leads that might never be converted. But, with the level of personalization and connection that direct mails provide – getting customers for life becomes easier and realistic.
Direct mails give financial companies the freedom and opportunity to get creative. Furthermore, they can decide the design of the direct mails, the campaign’s size, and other things. Direct mail marketing is a type of offline marketing that lets you control and track everything. Even a huge billboard on a busy street might not give you the desired results. It adds more to the place than to your brand. Companies can control what is being sent, to whom it is being sent, when, how, and everything else – with direct mails. You can either use EDDM or mailing lists targeting high-income localities.
How Financial Services Providers Use Direct Mail to Reach Customers
Using an Integrated Form of Marketing
It becomes much easier to reach customers when they see the name of a brand at several places, rather than just one. By using direct mails to compliment digital advertising or vice versa, financial institutions can get their audience’s undivided attention. Including personalized URLs and QR codes is a good way of driving traffic to your website. Similarly, you can send triggered direct mails to anyone who visits your website, signs up, makes a call, or gets engaged in other ways. Integrating offline and online marketing efforts helps financial institutions increase their visibility everywhere and gain popularity.
Using Targeted Mailing Lists
Financial companies use various segmentation factors to conduct targeted marketing. PostGrid’s direct mail platform and API can help you build targeted mailing lists quickly and easily. With the help of these mailing lists, financial institutions are able to reach the ideal audience that has needs that can be fulfilled using their services. Targeted marketing is much more profitable than the blanket approach used in digital marketing. Moreover, reduced anonymity helps them know their customers better and provide the desired services. Financial institutions are able to identify and find the relevant audience to convert into customers using targeted mailing lists.
PostGrid’s address verification and validation services can help you cleanse your data from time-to-time. Mailing lists are the basis of a successful direct mail marketing campaign. Financial institutions take care to have high-quality and enhanced mailing lists that contain complete and correct addresses. Even minor mistakes in these lists can lead to the failure of a campaign. Thus, our address verification solutions are designed to complete, standardize, and validate all your mailing lists to make them ready to be used.
Adding Compelling Offers
A compelling offer can act as a great attention-grabber and induce people to take action. These offers are often something that the recipients are interested in. Financial companies identify what their customers are excited about and include similar offers. This step can help them prompt people to complete the desired CTA. The response and engagement levels of a direct mail marketing campaign are greatly decided by the proposed offers. It should be something that is encouraging, exciting, and can prompt someone to do something.
Including a CTA
Along with a strong offer, financial companies include productive CTA. An offer without a CTA is useless. Therefore, financial services providers make sure to include a CTA that can be done easily by the people and also takes them one step closer to conversion. It can be made exciting as well by including CTAs that are interesting. For example, some banking institutions include hashtags and ask people to post pictures of the direct mail and use those hashtags on social media platforms – in exchange for something. It helps engage more people. Additionally, all the pictures that are collected through these campaigns can level up your digital game.
Designing Creative Direct Mails
Creativity has no bounds in direct mail marketing campaigns. Financial services companies can design highly creative and appealing direct mails that can instantly catch the attention of their audience. The ability to inform people about their services using direct mail pieces with high-quality graphics and an excellent copy helps these companies make a good image for their brand.
Senior citizens are very keen to know about brands through direct mails. In general, they are the class of people who go through all the mails and pay decent attention to them. Sending direct mails to seniors can be an effective move to increase brand publicity. They are likely to share your direct mails with other people and talk about them. It can help in intriguing mouth publicity.
Integration of Direct Mail With Other Marketing Channels for Increased ROI
Various companies in the financial services sector use integrated forms of marketing to get better results. We already know that direct mail marketing is very effective for getting a high response and conversion rate. Using multiple channels, financial companies can back up their direct mail marketing efforts and follow-up properly. Oftentimes, direct mail is used as the first step of a marketing campaign. The messages are then reinforced using digital channels like email or social media. These steps help in increasing the outreach of the campaign and making it popular.
The majority of people tend to check out a brand on at least two channels before purchasing. Although direct mails are good at creating confidence and trust, financial companies are required to make a solid base of integrity and trustworthiness. It can be achieved by combining several marketing practices under one campaign, enabling the audience to view your brand consistently across all channels.
Let’s take an example; if you are a bank planning a direct mail campaign, you will definitely want to get the desired response. These responses are either visiting your branch, calling you up, or getting account sign-ups on your website. The first two are offline responses. Hence, you can expect these responses even without integrating direct mail with other marketing channels. However, don’t forget about the recipients that prefer taking online action. You can lose these customers if your marketing activities are not synced. There ought to be many recipients that do not want to go somewhere or make a call physically. Instead of that, they can post something on social media or sign-up online. PURLs, QR codes, and hashtags are used for fulfilling this purpose.
This was all about incorporating online channels into your direct mails. Now, let’s talk about combining or integrating multiple channels to support one cause – getting responses and increasing conversions. The ROI of a direct mail campaign is based on the number of conversions. In order to win over the faith of people, brands run simultaneous campaigns. People can quickly recognize your brand if they see it more often and on more than one platform. You can follow-up on your direct mails by sending an email or by running a digital media campaign. This step induces people even further to take action. Thus, the ROI generated using multi-channel marketing is always high. Direct mail marketing can give a positive ROI, but financial institutions can improve it by using multiple channels. Don’t miss out on a single customer by limiting your marketing alternatives to only one channel.
A Guide to Using Direct Mail for Financial Institutions
Direct mail is undoubtedly the most effective way of connecting with people on a one-to-one level. It is highly beneficial for financial institutions because it offers personalized services that are tailored to every individual’s needs. Direct mail marketing is an ideal form of advertising and getting leads – due to its flexibility and customizable nature.
Financial services marketers can get creative and design anything they want. PostGrid’s direct mail platform can help you create your own HTML templates or use one from the in-built ones. You can go as far as your imagination takes you and edit templates using the template editor. For creating a successful direct mail marketing campaign, always remember to put your best foot forward in terms of creativity. All the direct mail pieces should be extremely appealing and attention-seeking.
Liberty Mutual conducted a campaign wherein postcards containing a car’s image were sent out. This image had a scratch-off feature. People were asked to scratch it off, after which a tagline regarding their auto insurance services was revealed. The campaign fetched remarkable results as the idea was applauded by a large number of recipients. Similarly, all financial institutions should be extremely creative with their direct mails to capture the attention of their audience and not leave out any opportunities.
Send Triggered Mails
Triggered direct mails are always targeted towards people who are already engaged with the brand in some way or are looking for similar services. While using direct mails, companies should conduct event-driven campaigns that allow you to automatically send direct mails to people who have either visited your website, made an inquiry, or have taken some action that reflects their interest in your brand. Since they are already interested slightly, you can strengthen their interests and turn them into purchasing decisions using direct mails.
Sending direct mails without personalizing them can affect your ROI. Hence, it is advisable to personalize your direct mails to relate with the audience and delight them instantly. Personalization improves the value of direct mails and makes the recipient feel good.
Be consistent with your images, taglines, messages, and offers across all channels of marketing communication. It has to be taken special care of while using omnichannel marketing. Conflicting offers across different platforms can confuse your audience and create chaos. Maintaining consistency can also help your recipients recall your brand easily, which is very good for your company.
Include Worthy Offers
Your targeted audience must be given offers that are worthy of their time and effort. Include offers that interest people and motivate them to visit your website or branch. A good bonus on making a new account is an excellent example.
Follow-ups are essential to back-up your direct mails and turn them into prospects and customers. Regular follow-ups can help remind the recipients about your direct mails and induce them constantly to complete the desired CTA. Therefore, it is recommended that all direct mails are met with proper follow-ups. Align your marketing efforts with sales, allowing you to do everything at the right time.
PostGrid offers a direct mail automation platform and API to help companies in the financial services industry conduct successful direct mail campaigns – effortlessly and speedily.
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