Why Does Mail Still Matter?

In today’s digital marketing age, it’s common to hear statements like “direct mail is dead” or “let’s focus our efforts on digital since it’s quicker and cheaper.” Beliefs like these have led to many businesses turning away from one of the most profitable ROIs when it comes to advertising – direct mail campaigns.

Let’s start with some significant facts. 56% of consumers state that print marketing is more trustworthy than any other marketing channel. 73% of American consumers also prefer direct mail pieces from brands because they can read it at their leisure. One more fact – 48% of direct mail recipients hold on to mail for future reference.

Mail So, what does this mean? People like direct mailers, trust mail campaigns, and hold on to the pieces far longer than emails. In fact, a USPS survey found that 40% of millennials read direct mail thoroughly simply because they enjoy receiving it. The USPS studies also indicate that 25% of millennials consider reading direct mail a leisure activity, and 38% prefer direct mail to electronic mail. These numbers suggest plenty of future growth for direct mail campaigns in the future.

Due to inbox clutter, the response rate for direct mail is also higher at 4.4% compared to .12%. Consumers receive unsolicited marketing emails in drones on the daily. A direct mail piece is delivered through a less cluttered medium and receives more attention as a result.

Direct mail also reaches consumers on a level that is more difficult for digital – the emotional level. 57% of direct mail respondents reported that postcard marketing makes them feel more valuable, engaged and establishes a more authentic relationship between them and the brand. Personalizing their mail pushes additional results. Including the recipient's name in full color on the piece increases the response rate a whopping 135%. Direct mail sends the message that consumers are important to a brand, and consumers are more inclined to spend time on brands that devote time to them.

So how about the ROI? Well, here are some more numbers! U.S. advertisers spend an average of $167 per person each year on direct mail advertising in return for $2,095 goods sold per recipient. That’s a 1300% return! On top of that, 80-90% of direct mail is opened by recipients against 20-30% of marketing emails, and 44% of those recipients reported visiting the company’s website after receiving the mail. Consumers not only prefer receiving direct mail, but they interact with the brand more, leading to increased engagement and sales.

So, what's a business owner to do? Invest in direct mail, or stay modernized with email marketing? Well, who says you can't do both?! Studies show that the best marketing campaigns utilize a combination of the two mediums with cross-media advertising tactics increasing response rates by 35% or more. And while direct mail offers increasingly positive ROI on investment, it still takes second place to one marketing outlet in specific – social media. It would be detrimental to a business' cause to ignore all digital media in favor or direct mail advertising, and vice versa.

A successful marketing campaign is going to utilize all the strengths associated with a medium’s audience response rate. The real goal is to find ways to reach the niches within your target audience by reaching them through their preferred channels. Forming a cohesive cross-media campaign strategy is the best way to increase ROI while not abandoning your advertising outlets, and it will lead to increased success for your brand!
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