It’s not difficult to scour the internet these days and find articles proclaiming the death of print marketing or, more specifically, direct mail. The common assumption is that digital marketing is more effective because some channels, like email, are essentially free.
But what if your customers are not reading those emails, or they treat digital ads as noise?
Studies are now showing that the relentless flow of digital information is overwhelming for many people, resulting in a conscious effort to disconnect from their devices and digital content.
In fact, 24 percent of 18-34- year-olds report they are concerned about internet addiction.1
(Re)enter print marketing, especially in the form of direct mail.
24% – 18-34- year-olds concerned about internet addiction
Direct mail works, with response rates that are far superior to digital marketing. The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) recently found that average response rates for direct mail were a solid 5.1 percent.2
Meanwhile, popular digital marketing channels such as email, social media, paid search and display advertising combined for a 0.62 percent average response rate.2
5.1% vs. 0.62% – Direct Mail vs. Digital Channels Response Rates
The argument isn’t to replace digital marketing with print and direct mail. We should be looking for opportunities to use online and offline channels together, so they complement each other’s strengths.
Here’s why direct mail should be part of that marketing mix.
We like mail
When we receive a mail piece from a company, the customer relationship is deepened. Royal Mail MarketReach found that 55 percent of respondents are more likely to feel valued when brands contact them through mail rather than email.3
The power of direct mail is not lost on the generation with the most buying power either. Seventy-seven percent of millennials pay attention to direct mail,4 90 percent of millennials think it is a reliable form of advertising and 57 percent have made purchases due to a direct mail offer.5
90% – Millennials that think Direct Mail is reliable
Your competitors are using direct mail
According to The DMA’s 2018 Response Report, 81 percent of marketers planned to maintain or increase usage of direct mail in the next 12 months, and 57 percent were planning to tie direct mail to their social media campaigns.6
While this data covered several industries, those using direct mail the most were:
- Travel or Hospitality (80%)
- Nonprofit (75%)
- Publishing or Media (71%)
- Financial Services-Banks/Credit (67%)
- Healthcare (63%)
Ai's 2019 Mailing Guide - Download
Direct mail is more measurable than you think
Clearly, there is a healthy market for direct mail across multiple industries and generations, and combining it with digital campaigns can bring out the best in all the channels you use.
Mailing technology has also made it easier than ever to track mailings, from tracking USPS scans and deliveries to using Personalized URLs (PURLs) and mobile barcodes to send recipients to a landing page. You can even set up a dedicated phone number related to a specific mailing and track and record inbound calls from recipients.
The opportunities with direct mail and digital channel integration are seemingly endless as these technologies evolve and consumers alternate how they consume brands’ messages.
Mintel Reports, November 2017: Attitudes Toward Technology and the Digital World – US.
2017 DMA Response Rate Report
Royal Mail MarketReach, January 2015: The Private Life of Mail.
Quad/Graphics, March 2016: Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse.
Pitney Bowes: Six ways to connect with millennials.
6ANA/DMA 2018 Response Rate Report: Performance and Cost Metrics Across Direct Media.
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