Direct Mail Campaigns: Why They’re Still Effective in a Digital World

October 8, 2019 By 0 Comments

How often do you receive mail? What about mail that’s not a credit card statement or bill?

Probably not that often, right? Well, that’s one of the many reasons that actually make mail an effective marketing strategy in today’s hyper-digital environment.

You’ve probably heard that direct mail is dead. Well, everyone else has heard that too, but you shouldn’t throw this strategy in the bin just yet. The truth is that only about 20-30% of email gets opened while 80-90% of direct mail gets opened and read.

Direct mail campaigns are still very much alive and we’re here to tell you why.

What are Direct Mail Campaigns?

First, what exactly is a direct mail campaign?

Very similar to email marketing campaigns, a business will target a segment of their potential or existing customers and extend an offer or provide a dialogue to attract a response from said customers.

The sole difference is the delivery. Direct mail is sent via the post. Yes, good old snail mail.

Why Should You Send Direct Mail Campaigns?

“How do you even mail a letter?” A phrase that has likely been uttered by a Millennial or Generation Z kids.

With Google, email, and social media, why should you lick an envelope to target your audience? Here’s why!

1. It’s a Surprise and Delight

Mail that isn’t a credit card offer or bill is already a surprise for your potential customers. Why not delight them with a coupon or exciting news?

According to studies, 59% of U.S. respondents and 65% of Canadian respondents agreed with the following statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”

Receiving mail is similar to receiving a hand-written letter. It’s almost romantic.

In fact, 57% of people said that receiving mail makes them feel valued.

2. Greater Memorability

Direct mail is memorable for a number of reasons.

First, your competition is not doing it. While they are tackling the digital space, you can stand out by sending physical mail.

Next, think about your digital inbox. How many emails do you receive per day?

According to DMR, the average office worker receives 121 emails per day. How likely are you to remember that pizza offer you got in your inbox right before the other 120 emails? Not very likely.

Lastly, your brain is wired to respond differently to paper.

A scientific study used eye-tracking technology and EEG brain scans to determine how people respond to different media. Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media, suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable.

3. It Reaches Everyone

Yes, there are still people who don’t have email, use social media, or even have a computer.

Guess what can reach them all? Direct mail.

Whether this audience is younger, older, or just not technologically savvy, direct mail is a great way to earn their business and let them know that they are valued. Digital campaigns rely on the assumption that everyone is online and has an email address, but direct mail can reach everyone with an address.

4. Target Your Audience

The beauty of direct mail is that you don’t have to wait for your customer’s information. At USPS.com, you can use their Every Door Direct Mail tool to send mail to different customers in different areas.

After you enter your city or postcode, you can select up to 5 addresses near your location. You could send a friendly offer to everyone in your neighbourhood or narrow your audience.

When you hover your mouse over a route, the tool will show you the number of residents, number of businesses, age range, average household size, and average household income of that zone (US only).

It even calculates the approximate cost of postage to send a mailer to that route.

Effective marketing is always targeted!

5. Create a Multi-Channel Approach

No marketer chooses one approach and relies solely on it. Your strategy should include several different methods for reaching your target audience.

Following your digital campaign up with a direct mail campaign is always a great idea.

After the consumer has erased you from their memory, deleted the email, or moved on, your brand will reappear. This will surely get their attention.

Your coupon will now go on the fridge versus the trash file.

6. A High ROI

At a media ROI of 29%, direct mail outperforms paid search and online display ads. It is slightly behind email and social media but still performs well.

The response rate is 5.3% for mail sent to houses and 2.9% for prospect lists.

Now compare that number to email, which has an average click-through rate of about 2% or 3%. And that’s the click-through rate, not the response rate, which is 0.6%.

7. Simple Execution

Direct mail doesn’t require the technical expertise that many digital methods require, thus making the execution easier.

Many CRM tools provide this service, so you don’t have to outsource any work.

Direct Mail gives you an opportunity to grab your potential customer full attention with a physical mail piece vs the digital ads where you compete for screen space and at the best you are limited to about 8% of the available display area.

The rapid deployment also means that you can turn around campaigns considerably faster than in alternative channels, thereby maximizing a potential sales window.

Diversify Your Strategy

Don’t give up on direct mail campaigns just yet because a digital-only strategy is a straight path to complacency.

In today’s cluttered digital space, you need to stand out, and direct mail is a basic but effective way to accomplish this task. 64.1% of e-commerce shoppers indicated that receiving an ad or coupon in their mailbox led them to take action in the last year.

Provide potential customers with actionable content and you will receive that high ROI.

Learn more about crafting the perfect marketing strategy.