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Direct Mail vs. Digital Marketing: Do One or Both?

direct mail

Historically, health clubs and other industries used postcards most of the time, but in the last few years, many clubs have decided to stop and put their money into other resources.

The overwhelming, never-ending amount of digital marketing that exists today makes it increasingly difficult for a single message to stand out to consumers. But there’s a resurgence in the works. What if I told you there’s a medium that boasts a 66 percent open rate and sticks with consumers an average of 17 days? It’s an oldie but a goodie: direct mail.

Direct mail has traditionally resonated with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, but studies show it’s working with Millennials too: 64 percent of them are looking for information and discounts right in their mailbox.

Most health clubs are marketing to a multi-generational audience, so a multi-channel approach makes sense. When you’re reaching the inbox and the mailbox, social media and traditional print media, you’re reinforcing your message and upping your chances of standing out from the crowd.

Here’s how a multi-channel approach might work:

  1. Direct mail combined with an offer (like a guest pass) that asks the prospect to go to a landing page to fill out a form, in addition to asking them to call or come in, is a quick way to see if your direct mail is working. You may find different demographics respond in different ways: Millennials may go right to the form, while Boomers may call. Use a UTM code attached to your custom URL to track the source, medium and name of your marketing campaigns. This enables Google Analytics to tell you where searchers came from, as well as what campaign directed them to you.
  2. A blog post or webpage with your offer and a form.
  3. Emails sent to both new and previous prospects with a link to a landing page for people to download new information and learn about the special.
  4. Facebook and Instagram ads with an offer and link to the landing page.
  5. Advertising on LinkedIn, if you have a location in a corporate area.
  6. Google Ads with your offer.
  7. Geo-targeted banner advertising.
  8. Retargeting to previous prospects.
  9. A radio ad sending prospects to your landing page.

This multi-channel approach always wins when it comes to marketing, to ensure the consumer not only sees your message, but sees it again and again, moving from the contemplation stage to the action stage.


Tiffany Levine is the director of marketing and public relations at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club.


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