We’ve all spent the past nine months adapting to a more digital way of life. Whether that’s been working from home, Zoom calling friends, shopping online - or likely all three - we’ve all been in the same boat.
So, for many businesses, estate agents included, digital marketing was the most obvious way to reach customers.
Social media, email marketing, retargeting, SEO, PPC - that’s where many of us initially allocated what remained of our marketing budget this time last year.
But as the saying goes, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. And this, in part, has contributed to the increasing effectiveness of direct mail.
We’re inundated with digital marketing
As digital marketing has accelerated, competition for attention online has never been higher.
We’re faced with an excessive amount of digital ads, day in, day out, which usually interrupt us at inconvenient times. We often switch off to ads as we scroll through social media or delete an email without even opening it.
But if you want to inspire action and generate new leads, you need to get noticed. And when direct mail arrives through your letterbox, that’s much harder to ignore.
With too many messages from computers and phones described as ‘invasive and stressful’, Royal Mail found that 44% of people looked forward to receiving mail during lockdown.
That said, direct mail is increasingly being seen as a welcome alternative to the constant bombardment of digital ads and emails.
With Royal Mail also reporting that engagement with mail is higher than ever before at 96%, there’s a real opportunity for agents to make their mark right now.
Direct mail allows homeowners to engage with your marketing on their terms instead of seeing it as an interruption. It’s more trusted and believable and can actually drive the website traffic your digital ads are competing for, which leads us nicely to another reason why direct mail has never been more effective…
QR codes are driving the success of direct mail
As a result of the pandemic and the need for more contactless technology, Quick Response (QR) codes have made a huge comeback. Bars and restaurants aside, they’re proving a successful tool for estate agents in creating more integrated multi-channel marketing campaigns.
Anyone can now use their smartphone camera to scan a QR code (no third-party app needed), triggering a digital experience - from a simple website visit to completing a valuation request, watching video content or viewing a specific property listing.
They’re becoming widely used to drive the success of direct mail campaigns - and given that 82% of UK adults use a smartphone - adding a QR code makes it even easier for recipients to take action and start engaging with you online.
Using a QR code in your next direct mail campaign will help you bridge your print and digital marketing efforts. And importantly, you’ll be able to track the success of your direct mail campaign without having to display a long and complicated URL.
It’s long been said that it’s not a case of print versus digital, which is still very much the case. Your target audience isn’t either online or offline - they straddle both - so it makes sense for agents to adopt a multi-channel marketing approach.
But as the fight for attention online has accelerated, one of the best ways to reach homeowners continues to be through their letterbox.
At Ravensworth, we’re seeing a definite increase in the number of estate agents incorporating direct mail into their marketing campaigns. It’s never been more effective as a springboard to online engagement.
*Graeme Edwards is General Manager at Ravensworth