Direct Mail is Alive and Well

by Janet Kemmet, Graphic Response

Based on recent statistics and studies, direct mail appears to be holding strong with a response rate of 4.4% compared to 0.12% for email (according to Bizo and Epsilon data).  Direct mail response rates are typically 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital.  As inboxes become more and more cluttered with marketing messages, direct mail remains the only media channel that puts your message directly into your customers’ hands, through a much less cluttered channel.  

Results of studies by the U.S. Post Office indicate, while participants had similar engagement to digital ads and physical ads, the individuals exposed to the direct mail piece (physical ad) experienced heightened excitement, as well as a greater subjective valuation and desirability for the items advertised.  This experience held true for millennials, as well.  The perception that millennials, raised with cell phones and tablets, would not be interested in something as ‘old school’ as direct mail, has been proven false.  It turns out a significant percentage of millennials like mail, with 95% of 18-29 year olds exhibiting a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters. 

With these encouraging studies, it is obvious Direct Mail remains a viable form of marketing to your customers.  While there are costs associated with the production and mailing of your piece, it continues to be one of the most cost effective methods of marketing for small businesses.  Be sure to integrate direct mail marketing with social media campaigns; reaching targeted audiences with a coordinated and consistent branding message.

Consider the following steps when developing your direct mail message:

  • Make your direct mail memorable
  • Ask your printer about “variable data printing” for a custom effect
  • Target your message to the right audience
  • Include a “Call to Action” offer