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Making an Impact with Direct Mail

In our last blog post, we looked at how direct mail has become the “new email.” With cluttered inboxes and spam filters creating numerous hurdles for marketers, we’re seeing a shift to direct mail campaigns. As you might recall from our last post, physical mailboxes are no longer overstuffed with campaign materials, creating a unique opportunity to get your message right in front of consumers. Additionally, according to Compu-Mail, 56% of customers find direct mail marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing. In this post, we’ll examine just how impactful direct mail really is.

Reaching Consumers without Hurdles

Physical mailboxes don’t have spam filters, they can’t send harmful digital viruses that consumers are ever wary of, and without an opt-in requirement, direct mail can reach anyone with a mailing address. The “open rate” of direct mail is much higher than email; of those mailed messages up to 90% are opened, compared to a 20-30% open rate if your consumers are highly active with your email campaigns. If your email contacts are unengaged, or if you’re communicating with a prospect list, the email open rate can dip down to under 2%. You can use your email list to build your direct mail list by asking/incentivizing individuals who have opted-in to receive email, to share their mailing address or ZIP code. In addition, data marketing companies, like ADM, have the ability to overlay physical mailing addresses to email addresses, so you can also send physical mail to your email clients and prospects. Targeting consumers with synchronized email communication and direct mail drops can increase your direct mail response rate by as much as 35% according to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA).

Unfiltered Outbound Communications

A significant advantage direct mail offers is longer shelf life (the amount of time a recipient hangs on to a message). The average lifespan of an emailed communication is 17 seconds compared to 17 days with direct mail. The longer a consumer holds on to your message, the higher the response rate. Further, direct mail delivers high “pass along” readership so, for example, your message will stay top of mind when the printed piece makes its way from the mailbox to the fridge, a popular storage spot for coupons and other mailed pieces.

Email campaigns are generally sent to a list of recipients who may or may not be at that email address anymore. Direct mail campaigns can be sent to mailing addresses with confirmation before sending that the intended recipient is at that address. It’s worth noting that the DMA reports that 70% of consumers prefer traditional mail when it comes to unsolicited offers. So, although a well-maintained email list is important, developing a direct mail list, or utilizing a company like ADM to develop a custom direct mail list based on your customer’s profile, allows you to incorporate direct mail into your media mix.

Reaching Decision Makers

The majority of economic decisions are made by the female in the household and direct mail campaigns land right in these decision-making hands, as women open the mail in a majority of households. There are only so many ways to make an email look important, but when they are fighting the messaging of dozens or hundreds of other email communications, they can get lost in the digital mix no matter how official and important they look. Your direct mail campaigns provide an important experiential touch that breaks through the clutter. Compu-Mail reports that “prospects are 15% more likely to respond to an oversized mail piece even if they have never done business with you.” With direct mail you can ensure that the individual touches the piece and engages in some way. ADM can advise which direct mail formats will be the most effective for your message and target audience. 

The Direct Mail Bottom Line

Direct mail has a strong presence that gets noticed by prospects and customers, and consistently delivers a positive return on investment. Individuals engage with their mail, and they find direct mail marketing pieces trustworthy. Again, and again, direct mail delivers proven results alone or when combined with email. Our team can help you figure out the best direct and email marketing solutions for your business. For more on direct mail and its value, check out How to Get Back to Basics with Direct Mail.

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