Is Direct Mail Marketing Deceased?


In the age of the Internet, social media, and smartphones, one could almost believe such a statement to be true. However, there’s something to be said for going old school on occasion. The simple truth is that not everyone is Internet and media savvy.

In the same way, there are readers in the world who prefer a real book to an eBook, something they can hold in their hands, even sniff if they want to—there are people who prefer real mail. They want to check the mailbox, not an inbox. They enjoy receiving something they can look over and hold in their hands.

Would it surprise you to know that according to a 2016 study by the United States Postal service, 87% out of 1545 consumers admitted they’d rather get direct mail than a phone call from a telemarketer? Okay, possibly not. We’ll admit, telemarketers can be annoying.

How about another study done by Direct Marketing Association that says a good 50% of millennial today actually look forward to receiving postal mail, in contrast to 44% of non-millennials. Direct Marketing Association did a study and found email marketing has a measly 0.12% response rate, whereas good old fashioned direct mail has a much higher 4.4% response rate. Go figure!

The truth is that direct mail marketing is not dead and can in fact still be a hefty tactic in your marketing arsenal. It all depends on your campaign, your biz, and the strategy you use.

When Direct Mail Works Best

There are a few instances where direct mail can be an effective tactic. Just keep in mind that if you’re going to sink money into using direct mail marketing, you better make it good. It has to be memorable. Tucking your offer into a plain envelope with your logo won’t cut it.

So, when should you give it a shot?

  • When you want to drive new and repeat business.
  • When you want to acquire new customers or clients.
  • When you want to stand out from your competition.
  • When you want to retain current customers and clientele.

When Direct Mail Doesn’t Work

Obviously there are some cases where digital marketing is simply better. Digital marketing is more cost effective, which means you can reach more people with less money invested. Also, there are certain things you can do with digital marketing that can’t be done the old fashioned way.

That said, don’t bother with direct mail if you are:

  • Trying to create brand awareness. You would have to send out a LOT of mail!
  • Trying to use remarketing or retargeting tactics in your campaign.

Benefits of Using Direct Mail Marketing

According to the USPS, there’s been a decline in direct mail since 2006, to the tune of 29.85%. While that sounds “not good” it can actually be very good for you, because there is less “stuff” competing for someone’s attention in their mailbox.

You can also use cool things in a direct mail campaign that are tangible and intriguing for people to open, like special coating on the mailer, something inside that feels interesting, and other little touches that spark interest and grab attention.

Another benefit is you have a great chance of getting your direct mail piece in front of someone when they’re in a good mood because 55% of folks actually like checking their mail and seeing what came that day. In contrast, most people can’t stand SPAM.

Direct mail is often perceived as more trustworthy than an email too, and since most folks only receive an average of two pieces of mail each day, your chances of that person opening your mail and reading it skyrocket when compared to the over 269 billion emails that are sent all of the world every day.

As you can see, direct mail is far from dead. There’s just a time and a place to use it. If you get it in front of the right person and it kicks that email offer right out of the water. Be strategic in your efforts and combine both direct mail and digital marketing for the best chances of success with your business.

See Also:

Thump Value: The Importance of Print-Based Marketing Materials

5 Marketing Resolutions to Make for 2020

How Your Brand’s Marketing is Akin to the Legs of a Stool

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