Hot debate: Direct mail or digital marketing?
When it comes to advertising, providers who dismiss direct mail marketing in favor of digital platforms could be missing out, says marketing expert Justin Racine.
“The thing with direct mail marketing is, everyone still gets mail,” said Racine, marketing and e-commerce manager at Geriatric Medical. “The demographic that providers are likely going after—the baby boomers—haven’t grown up with digital technology.”
Depending on the demographic information available, Racine says providers can tailor their message to reach a specific customer segment.
For example, Leila Wilkerson’s goal for her company was to increase its audiology customer base. To that end, Wilkerson sent mailers advertising their audiology services to zip code areas without practicing audiologists.
“We saw an increase in appointments and an increase in hearing aid orders,” said Wilkerson, director of Burlington, Iowa-based Heritage Medical Equipment and Supply. “So it did prove very beneficial.”
However, not everyone has been as lucky.
Of 4,000 postcards provider Mike Kuller sent to women ages 55-65 promoting his company, only four responded.
“(The company I worked with) told me 1% was a good return and we’re getting about .01%,” said Kuller, owner of Allstar Medical Supply in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Racine says there are many factors that affect response rates, including content and repetition.
“A basic rule of thumb in marketing is people have to see an ad or marketing piece 16 times before a response will take place,” said Racine. “I would try it four to six times.”
When it comes to messaging, long copy always sells better than short copy, adds Racine.
“Don’t make it about price, make it about something you do that Amazon can’t,” he said.