Love digital marketing but don’t knock a postal

Overall, we’re pretty happy with the engagement of our email marketing.

But, when it comes to more formal communication about the ‘serious stuff’ like licence renewal, we see limited engagement via email.

So, we went back to basics and sent a good old fashioned letter. We had a 28% response rate. 

Surprised? Me too.

People picked up the phone and called us. They typed in the email address and replied. They typed in the URL and filled out a form. Far more effort than just clicking a link in the emails we’d previously sent them.

This was to a small sample (c. 120 of our education sector customers)…but that’s 33 people we got to speak to who were not responding to email. The vast majority of these led to positive conversations with schools looking to continue their subscription.

Why did direct mail trump digital this time? Here’s my thinking:

  • People working in schools have even less time for email than most of us. Teachers and school leaders don’t sit at a desk and if you watch the news, then you’ll know that there’s a workload crisis.
  • There’s a lot of clutter in our email inboxes, it’s too easy to hit the delete button
  • Our slightly more formal method of communication appears to have snuck past the gate keeper and ended up in a pile of things ‘to do’. A letter is a physical reminder that can’t be erased with a click.
  • We also found that our letters were passed on to someone who would action it. The person getting in touch was often not who we had addressed the letter to.
  • People don’t get that many letters these days. Maybe it’s quite novel?

This was a good reminder for us that whilst we have all of these wonderful digital platforms, sometimes it’s worth going back to basics to stand out, get noticed and elicit action.

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