Direct mail as a healthcare advertising tactic has undoubtedly declined in volume over the past decade. One of the contributing factors, of course, has been the rise and surge of digital and social media platforms, both allowing healthcare brands to effectively and efficiently deliver their message to consumers where they are; on line, on their phones, and always on demand.
As a result, marketers are increasingly putting more of their budget into these new channels to the tune of over $70 Billion, nearly tripling its spend in the last eight years.
In the mix, you’ll still find big traditional media such as television, radio, and (magazine) print. These media are proven brand support and many of the elements can be shared with other platforms whether on line videos, banner ads, Pandora radio, etc. – so, all in all a very cost effective balance of new and old.
Under the radar, one very traditional promotional tactic is making a bit of a comeback – slowly and surely – direct mail via snail mail is on the move again. Especially in healthcare marketing. Why the resurgence in a world that’s fast-paced, on line, and always moving? There are several reasons:
- There is still a group of readers out there who like to touch and open. Focus groups in many markets support that direct mail is still a preferred medium to reach people with healthcare messages. They like the detail, the information, and if it includes some sort of keepsake, such as a magnet or card, even better.
- Even though seniors are becoming Facebook fanatics, they do like the added information that direct mail affords.
- New technology actually has facilitated the growth of direct mail. No longer stagnant, flat pieces, new direct mail offers embedded videos, sound, even smells into the packaging.
- Direct mail is a key component of multi-channel marketing. Diversifying your marketing channels greatly increases your chances of engagement. Studies show response rate is 26% higher if you follow a digital display ad with a direct mail follow up!
- Data suggests direct mail is easier to decipher, requiring 21% less cognitive effort to process and elicits a much higher brand recall.
- Direct mail is more personal. You can fit more of a message on a direct mail piece than you can on a 250×250 digital banner ad.
- There is typically lower competition for attention in a real mailbox versus an email inbox.
Just like in all communications, the creative messaging has to stand out and be different. When using direct mail in healthcare marketing, it has to say “open me” to the consumer. Printers are more able to use interesting shapes, sizes, and formations to entice consumers to open, read, and retain your direct mail piece.
Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy specializes in multi-channel marketing campaigns for health systems, hospitals and health-related associations. If you’re looking for digital and direct strategies to elevate your brand, be sure to contact us for more information today!