Cuts in Direct Mailing Leads to Decreased Sales

With much of businesses directing their marketing budget toward digital, you would think that printing and direct mailing have been left by the wayside. In two cases reported by major retail businesses in 2019, Nordstrom and J. Jill, this is simply not the case. They found that simply using digital marketing strategies does not maintain a personal relationship with customers. In their first quarter earning report, Nordstrom found with the elimination of their customer rewards “notes” that there was a decrease of 3.3% from the previous year. A flat growth decline of over 2%, compared to the previous outlook of a 1% to 2% increase. Intent was to reach customers faster and with less cost. In reality, this backfire in marketing strategies, proved that customers prefer the direct mail method to the non personable method of online marketing techniques.  

A study conducted found that 61% of recipients considered direct mail influential in driving purchases decisions. This is a huge deal if you consider your customer base. So how would a customer use these direct mailers? Customers can take printed items into stores and preselect items prior to arrival to keep within a selected budget and save time. It also allows for people moving into new areas to become informed about where to shop. Bringing in new customers and profit for local businesses.  

So should digital marketing be abandon and we should go back to just mailing? The answer to that is no. David Rosendahl quoted it best when he said the following; 

“Maybe direct mail is having a resurgence due to the electronic noise from all the social channels. Be confident in your assertion that print still plays an integral part in driving sales. Used wisely with digital, it can play a role that ephemeral electronic messages simply cannot.”

It is a hard lesson learned by Nordstrom, but one worth listening too. 

Lessons Learned

1. Direct mail drives brick & mortar traffic, which drives revenue.

2. Be sure you understand what marketing activities are driving revenue.

3. Test before making drastic marketing channel changes.