You’ve heard it before: 


 Direct Mail is dead. 

No business should spend ad dollars on an antiquated distribution  channel like Direct Mail.

Digital Marketing is the only way a business can attract leads and retain customers.


But how true is all of that, really?


Unfortunately, direct mail has gotten a bad rap over the years. And honestly, with the constant upswing of consumer online behavior throughout the decades, it’s easy to understand where its critics are coming from. Digital ads, social media, ecommerce and just the unfathomable amount of information on the internet have changed consumer buying habits permanently. 


Online or Offline? That’s not the question.


Just because the internet is the #1 advertising distribution channel doesn’t mean offline advertising doesn’t work. These methods are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the case for using direct mail in a marketing strategy is actually bolstered because online advertising takes top prize. 


Here’s just a small example of what I mean:


Have you ever gone a few days without checking your email? I did once, and when I logged back on, I found over 400 unread emails in my non-work folders. It was overwhelming! So instead of reading them or even skimming over them, I just hit command+delete. 


Outside of work, consumers spend up to 30 additional hours a week on digital devices. They see emails, pop-ups and ads all day on these devices. Eventually, they become immune to such marketing tactics. They will easily identify and disregard what they don’t want to see.

BUT, a direct mailer is a tangible, curated touchpoint meant just for them. Something they can touch and feel. Something someone spent the time, effort and money to tailor to them. Something that makes them feel special.


The truth is that any account a consumer owns is inundated with dozens of emails every day. So how do you cut through the noise and make yourself and your brand stand out? YOU SEND DIRECT MAIL.

Integrated campaigns increase response.


It’s well-researched that it takes an average of seven contact points before a prospect will convert. Direct mail is just another touchpoint. It only stands to reason that if prospects haven’t responded to emails, social media and retargeting ads, there is a good probability they’ll respond to the addition of mailers. 


With the advent of the Informed Delivery program from the USPS, participants can see a digital “snapshot” of their mail to be delivered. In these email “snapshots”, marketers can add personalized URLs that go directly to a targeted landing page for the direct mail campaign. 


Integrated digital and direct mail campaigns significantly boost brand recognition, integrity and response rates.


Direct Mail numbers don’t lie.


There’s a reason that direct mail has been a major advertising channel for over 150 years. Because it works. 


Here are just a few statistics about the efficacy of direct mail as a marketing strategy:

  • In 2018, DM had an average house list response rate of 9% and 4.9% for prospect lists. (Data & Marketing Association)

  • DM campaigns generate 5x more responses than email. (Go Inspire Group study)

  • 60% of catalog recipients visit the company’s website. (USPS)

  • DM has an average 29% ROI. (Marketing Charts)

  • While only 20-30% of emails get opened, 90% of DM gets opened. (Data & Marketing Associates)

  • 73% of American consumers prefer being contacted via DM by their favorite brands because it gives them the freedom to read marketing materials whenever they want. (Epsilon)

Couple all of this with the fact that a direct mail campaign has an average 17-day lifespan compared to the few seconds of an email, and it’s easy to see why Direct Mail can have a lasting and profitable effect on marketing strategy.


This article was written in partnership with wiseHer - a technology platform that provides on-demand expert advice for small businesses and women to accelerate their business or career.  

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