E-commerce providers have to use their marketing budget in a targeted manner and avoid scattering losses as far as possible. When an increasing number of shops move onto the market, the costs for optimally positioned online advertising increase significantly. This means that printed mailshots become a genuine alternative for winning new online customers.
Companies that are entering foreign markets for the first time will be among the first to recognise that online advertising alone is not enough to guarantee success internationally. The high prices for banners on pages with heavy traffic, skyscrapers, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimisation (SEO) and search word advertisements are already unaffordable for some newcomers, as they often far exceed the available marketing budget. As more and more e-commerce shops offer and advertise their goods and services on the Internet, marketing experts predict that costs will continue to rise. Nor are all target groups reached in a sustainable manner by online and mobile marketing. Newcomers to online trading often also lack the resources to boost their brand awareness across a wide area using traditional offline media such as TV commercials, ads and poster campaigns.
The results of a current study in Germany show the significance of personalised mailshots for distance selling. According to the survey by the “Bundesverband des Deutschen Versandhandels“ (BVH) and the certification company for online shops Trusted Shops, almost half of German mail-order businesses (47%) want to increase expenditure on advertising letters. By contrast, only 44% are planning to increase their investment in e-mail advertising, and just over half (51%) of distance sellers are budgeting more funds for search word advertising.
“The art is to better interlink online and offline media and to achieve the highest efficiency with the budget available...”
This appears to fulfil the demand by many marketing experts and academics for a cross-media marketing mix. Although some Internet-loving decision-makers in companies still trust exclusively in the network of networks and the power of social media, according to experts “The art is to better interlink online and offline media and to achieve the highest efficiency with the budget available.”
To utilise cross-media potential in full, companies must offer their customers several information channels. After all, it is becoming increasingly common for customers to choose the communication channel and to use the various options flexibly according to requirements. Personalised mailshots provide important impetus here and have a fixed place in the marketing mix alongside SEM and SEO.
Products and services that require some explanation can be much better represented in printed form than on the screen. Moreover, written advertising possesses more credibility and value, creates trust and convinces. After all, writing a letter to someone shows a high regard for the recipient.
“Written advertising possesses more credibility and value, creates trust and convinces...”
If a company is still completely unknown in a country, few people will pay for something in advance and trust the shop operator based solely on Internet presence. Direct marketing is therefore an efficient way of credibly increasing fame and image at an acceptable cost when entering new markets – without scattering losses.