IP Targeting – The Direct Mail of Digital
By Joe Brown
Direct mail marketing has been around for a long time. We’re talking your great-great-great-great grandfather long. In fact, the first documented piece of direct mail marketing was actually an advertisement on papyrus. Next time you’re in London, feel free to fact check me. It’s housed in the British Museum.
So what makes direct mail such a valuable tool, and why are we talking about it here? Patience, young padawan. Direct mail stands apart from other traditional forms of media because it is a highly targetable form of advertising. You can put your brand in front of your core consumers by sending mail directly to their house! Sounds pretty great, until you factor in what I like to call the “junk mail” factor. According to the NYU School of Law, 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away without ever being opened. That’s a lot of eyeballs that will never see your carefully crafted (not to mention expensive) mailer.
That brings us to IP Targeting. Think of IP Targeting as direct mail for the digital age. The average American spends 24 hours a week online…that’s an average of over three hours and 20 minutes per day! Ninety-three percent of this time is spent outside of search browsers (Google, Bing, Yahoo). That means that people are living in the now on their favorite websites, apps, etc. IP Targeting allows you to reach your core consumers while they’re plugged in, branding your company with creative messaging to make sure you are top of mind the next time they’re in need of your product or service. How? I’m glad you asked.
Thanks to Internet Protocol (aka IP) Addresses – which are numerical labels assigned to each device connected to a computer network – you can target individual households, businesses, convention centers and more. All it takes is matching a physical mailing address to the associated IP Address and voila! We’ve just served a banner ad to your target consumer.
IP Targeting is a highly precise form of marketing. In fact, it’s 50-100 times more targeted than TV ads. This high level of targeting also results in greater ad interaction (3.3 times the industry average) and enhanced efficiency (6-60 times more effective than other display ads).
There are, of course, downsides. People, and even businesses, tend to move, so there’s about a 60 percent match rate. And it’s certainly not a cheap marketing strategy. However, when used effectively, along with a programmatic display campaign, IP Targeting can achieve high ROI (return on investment).
Let’s review: nearly half of what is deemed junk mail (which often contains direct mailers) is thrown away without ever being opened, whereas banner ads are served directly to a consumers’ computer or phone, practically ensuring it’s seen. IP Targeting isn’t just limited to B2C marketing either – you can target people at work through businesses’ IP Addresses.
So whether you’re looking to target existing customers from your own database, or striving to engage potential new customers, consider IP Targeting as part of your digital strategy. After all, like it or not, we live in a constantly evolving digital world. It’s time to take your direct mail strategy online.