Why Direct Mail Isn’t Dead

Why Direct Mail Isn’t Dead

In the thick of this dizzying digital era, is the direct mail medium still on anyone’s radar? In short, why, yes, it is. But, as always, when wearing our marketing hats, we’d like to elaborate on why.

The Numbers Add Up

You can’t deny impactful stats like this, as delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS):
80 percent of recipients read direct mail pieces – that’s a huge number!

  • In 2016, the Data & Marketing Association reported that the direct mail customer response rate increased by 43 percent.
  • An up to 14 percent response rate can be achieved through your direct mail campaign if you’ve crafted a strong a strong enough offer or call to action, versus a .14 percent click-through rate – and possibly a 2 percent conversion rate – for digital ads.
  • If your target audience is 10,000 recipients and you achieve even a 1 percent response rate, you still gain 100 customers (to digitally gain 100 customers, you’d have to a run a banner ad that reaches 3,035,700 targets)
  • There was a 2 percent decrease in direct mail deliveries in 2016 from the previous year. Which isn’t a bad thing. It just means there’s more room in the market for your brand to stand out in your audience’s mailbox, rather than their cluttered inboxes.

It’s Personal

There’s nothing quite as personal as a message waiting for you in your mailbox that someone took the time to send. In fact, 73 percent of people said they prefer direct mail as an ad medium over annoying pop-ups and flashing banner ads. And, if you’ve hand-crafted a meaningful enough message, your recipient will do more than at least touch it – they’ll open it and read it. Since folks are receiving less mail these days, each piece of mail is more exciting. Fifty-seven percent of people actually said that receiving mail makes them feel valued. Your direct mail may seem more like a friendly handshake, and your business more like a friend than a marketing ploy.

It Plays Well with Digital Campaigns

We’re not saying, of course, that direct mail is the only marketing channel to follow. It’s always smart to implement multiple channels via web, digital ads and social media platforms. For instance, combine your direct mail message with a scannable code or digital-based instructions to take a selfie or watch a video.

It’s Targeted & Trackable

Yes, you don’t have to close your eyes, throw a dart and pray that your direct mail is aimed at the right target audience out there. With the USPS Every Door Direct Mail tool, you can funnel your reach down to a specific zip code or neighborhood – and save thousands of dollars on postage. When deciding on your target, just keep in mind that direct mail connects to all ages; only 59 percent of people between ages 65 and 69 own a smartphone. And direct mail still allows you to track your leads, using marketing tricks like creating a unique landing page on your mail piece to track results or creating a phone number that’s unique to the direct mail campaign. You may be surprised by the response!

Creative Counts

Direct mail is more than just a postcard, it’s a blank canvas with unlimited creative potential. It’s a physical, tangible piece that should stand out. Think three-dimensional, flashy design or packaging with a wow factor. To prove there’s power in good direct mail, the Direct Marketing Association actually hosts an annual awards show (the ECHOs) for the best direct response work out there.

The ROI is Impressive

Let’s just say it pays to be direct. The median ROI for direct mail is 29 percent, which comes in third behind email and social, which only squeaks ahead of direct mail by 1 percent. That’s right, 1 percent. After that, paid search is next, with a 23 percent ROI, and online display ads have a 16 percent ROI.

It Triggers Memory and Multiple Senses

We’ve already mentioned how direct mail is memorable, but just to make sure you remember, we wanted to remind you of all those direct mail coupons you’ve tucked away in your purse or have hung on the fridge. In some way, direct mail takes up your physical space, your memory space, so you don’t forget it – not like an email you can easily ignore and delete. It’s reported that, because of direct mail, 66 percent of recipients have purchased a product. Even if they don’t purchase your product or use your coupon, they still saw your logo, your brand, your name and what you do, so there’s a good chance they look up your website later.

How can direct mail be multi-sensory? We can tell you first-hand, with a direct mail piece we created for Vacation Myrtle Beach that smelled like coconut sunblock to lure those snowed-in northerners to our warm waters. And the response was overwhelmingly positive. Direct mail can take advantage of all five senses, incorporating something appealing to the touch or linking something that triggers the sense of hearing. Digital campaigns can only focus on sight and hearing.

If you’re up for charging your digital marketing strategy with the personal touch of a direct mail campaign, connect email or call 843.222.0605 and we’d be happy to help you send just the right message.

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