Direct Mail Marketing: Is it Dead?

Today, almost every business and product is digitized and displayed on mobile…from banking and finances to restaurant reviews. We read books and newspapers on our phones, we can buy most everything online and we are constantly on the hunt for new technology. In these digital days, what does it mean for one of the oldest marketing techniques—direct mail marketing?

Well, it’s often said that “direct mail is dead,” and if you follow that line of thought, you’re dead wrong. In fact, direct mail is alive and doing very well. According to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail ROI is on the rise. In 2016, customer response rates to direct mail and catalogs increased year-over-year by 43 percent. As a whole, direct mail volume decreased for the year, but the overall percentage of all mail sent increased. This decrease in direct mail volume is a result of better targeting and less cold prospecting.
With statistics and results like these, it is no wonder that companies are now jumping back on the direct mail bandwagon, and here’s why…

  1. Direct Mail is Tangible
  2. Direct Mail is Visually Appealing
  3. Direct Mail is Personable
  4. Direct Mail Won’t Get Lost in an Inbox

Direct Mail is Tangible

Consumers want something in their hands. They can read an e-mail, but they can’t physically hold it. With direct mail, consumers have a tangible item, which they are more likely to react to. It has been shown that consumers better understand and comprehend something they see on paper over what they see on a screen.

Direct Mail is Visually Appealing

Along with being tangible, direct mail is also visually appealing and allows for creativity. The key to direct mail is to create something that stands out. So, how can you make the piece different? The shape, the structure and the size makes all the difference. Remember, consumers are more likely to be attracted to visuals such as pictures rather than words. Visual impact is fundamental to direct mail success. Using different gloss finishes, colors, metallics, etc. are a great way to incorporate visual variety.

Direct Mail is Personable

When a customer receives a direct mailer, they need to feel like it’s been personalized and tailored to them. Using a customer’s name on the mailer helps give them a sense of personalization. And don’t forget birthdays! Sending a birthday coupon or mailer can have a great impact.

Direct Mail Won’t Get Lost in an Inbox

Most of us receive dozens, if not hundreds of e-mails a day. Our inboxes are clogged with promotional e-mails, sales alerts and junk. But how many pieces of direct mail do we receive—direct mail that stands out?  Direct mail can also be targeted towards all ages and not just the techie millennials. E-mail marketing can sometimes miss the older generation.

Contrary to the urban legend that direct mail is dead and was killed by the Internet and technology, it’s far from true. Direct mail is here to stay. Customers are more digitally connected than ever before, therefore becoming immune to all the digital ads and promotions being thrown their way. Direct mail can capture their attention and give effective reach. Give GRIT a shout if you’d like us to help you with your direct mail outreach. It’s one of the many things we do.