5 Reasons Direct Mail Works to Promote Your Conference
With shrinking budgets, green initiatives and the ease of email marketing, some meeting planners have all but abandoned direct mail initiatives to promote their events. But direct mail plays an important role in reaching your potential attendees, and we’ve collected 5 reasons to add it back into the mix.
1. Email Doesn’t Reach Everyone
Studies estimate that an email blast only reaches about 30% of your intended audience, due to spam filters, outdated email addresses and the general challenge of getting people to open your emails. Plus, few organizations have emails addresses for every potential attendee.
A well-designed direct mail piece has a much larger delivery rate, and if the intended recipient has changed jobs, your piece will probably end up on the desk of his replacement, unlike invalid email addresses that bounce back.
“I absolutely believe that there is still a need for direct marketing pieces. We have seen that our registration significantly rises when people receive our direct mail pieces for events, ” states Amy Eldridge, Events Director, Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children (OAEYC)
2. Everybody Emails
Email marketing can be fairly low cost and easy to produce… that’s why it’s so popular. But that’s the problem… everyone’s doing it. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to design an email promoting your conference that can compete with the dozens, perhaps hundreds of other promotional emails that hit your invitee’s inbox EVERY day.
Amy Eldridge (OAEYC) says, “Obviously electronic pieces are more economical and can be quickly produced, but not everyone responds to an email like they do with an actual piece of literature.” She also indicated, “As hard as it is to comprehend, not everyone is connected in cyber space,” referring to the effectiveness of direct mail and the use of social technologies.
3. Your Direct Mail Piece Can Stand Out
According to Terrance Barkan, CAE, Chief Strategist and Business architect for GlobalStrat, the volume of direct mail has slowed in the past few years. This is great news for meeting planners who promote events. “The reduction in the use of direct mail by many organizations means that direct mail has a chance of standing out again in a less crowded mailbox,” Barkan said.
4. Direct Mail Appeals to Different Senses
Marketing experts have long recognized the strengths of having an actual object in a prospect’s hands. Adding the tactile experience to your message will help your response rate. In addition, according to an article in B2B magazine, “When it comes to lead generation, don’t fail. Mail.” Russell Kern (a direct mail guru) indicates, “Prospects responding to direct mail are 10% to 20% more likely to convert to a marketing-qualified lead than their online counterparts.”
5. Direct Mail Has Options for Every Budget
Traditional direct mail marketing for a conference might include a save-the-date postcard, exhibitor prospectus, sponsor brochures, an advance conference program plus perhaps a letter campaign and more. But savvy meeting managers can reduce direct mail marketing costs by modifying their mail, cutting down on printing and postage as well as paper use. Instead of printing and mailing large volume programs, create a modified version of your advance program or conference brochure. Highlight the key event topics in an 8-page flyer or even a postcard, and provide link to web site. You can cut postage costs in half by reducing a page count from 32 to 12.
There is no one solution for marketing your event.
We have found that integrating a mix of direct mail, emails, tweets, blogs and phone calls works best for Omnipress.
Be sure to read Mac McIntosh’s article on “Event promotion techniques that really work.” There’s a good section on direct mail and which type of copy is most effective.
Omnipress can conveniently print and mail most any pre-event marketing program, brochure or flyer. View samples and learn more: Conference Marketing Materials