I got a postcard the other day from a company offering their advertising services to help me grow my business.  Nothing unusual about that.

Except that it came from Google. 

So, here’s one of the largest digital advertising companies on the planet, a company that did $39.12 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2018, pitching their services via paper, ink and the U.S. Postal Service.  Why would they do that?

Because it works. 

Here are some eye-opening statistics:

Direct mail response rates for 2018 were 4.9% for prospect lists, and 9% for house lists (a company’s own database of contacts).  The house list response rate is nearly double from the year before.  In fact, response rates for direct mail to both prospects and house lists has been increasing since 2015.  (This also means that you should be marketing to your past customers.  Something I’ve been teaching dealers for over a decade.)

Direct mail still has a higher response rate than any other digital direct marketing medium:

  • Email: 1%
  • Paid search: 1%
  • Online display ads: .3%  (that’s three-tenths of a percent)
  • Social media: 1%

This compared to direct mail’s response rates of 5% for prospects and 9% for house lists.

76% of consumers trust direct mail in helping them make purchase decisions. 

Compare that with popular digital medias:

  • Search engine ads:  61%
  • Sponsored posts on blogs: 43%
  • Embedded ads on social media:  43%

Direct mail also has a deeper psychological impact than digital media.  According to Canada Post, direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media, and enables higher recall of specific brands.  Meaning direct mail is easier to understand and remember.

None of this doesn’t mean you should abandon digital medias.  I use digital media to promote my business, and we provide digital marketing services for dealers.  Done properly they play an important role in promoting your business.  However, the idea that direct mail is dead is a myth.  You should be using direct mail.  Let’s look at some best practices.

Market to your house list.

Response rates for house lists are nearly double that of prospect lists, which means you should be marketing to your past customers.  One of the most effective methods I’ve found is to send them a monthly newsletter using the 90/10 formula.  This means design your newsletters so they contain 90% fun, informative, entertaining content, with only 10% flooring content.   

Since the vast majority of dealers don’t market consistently to their house lists, you can give yourself a significant market advantage by doing so.  I’ve seen dealers go from near bankruptcy to doing million dollars in revenue, and successful dealers dramatically grow their businesses, by implementing a customer newsletter.

Determine your target market. 

If you expand beyond your house list, make sure you’re targeting prospects who fit the profile of your ideal customer.  Some things to consider include gender, income, home ownership status, and where they live.  If you can clearly define your ideal customer, you can usually purchase a list to match.    

Use the right message. 

Every prospective flooring customer has an unspoken question on their mind: why should I choose you instead of your competitor?  All of your marketing—including direct mail—should be designed to answer that question.  Here are some elements to include in your direct mail to help make that happen:

  • An attention-grabbing headline
  • Benefits of buying from you
  • Your guarantees and warranties
  • Testimonials from happy customers
  • What makes you different
  • A strong call to action
  • An offer and a deadline

Done correctly, direct mail can have a massive impact on the growth of your business.

If you have a direct mail marketing piece you’d like me to evaluate, email it to support@FlooringSuccessSystems.com.



To Tons Of Customers!

Jim Augustus Armstrong is The “Coach”

Jim Augustus Armstrong is the President of Flooring Success Systems, a program that equips dealers to double their profits, cut their work hours in half and beat the boxes! Many dealers have totally transformed their businesses and their lives for the better after joining Flooring Success Systems.
See what real, live dealers are saying!