Contrary to popular belief, the digital age has not killed direct mail marketing. In fact, this traditional form of advertising has seen a sort of resurgence in both popularity and effectiveness as of late because of the onslaught of digital advertising messages people are flooded with on a daily basis. The oversaturation digital advertising, whether they be through personal emails, Facebook Messenger, or video sales letters only magnifies the obvious advertising need of the day, namely get creative with your marketing tactics or maybe even better, go old school with them.
If you are doing what everyone else is doing, you are going to get what everyone else is getting. How can you make your business stand out above the rest, despite the fact that almost every form of online advertising today is connecting itself with an algorithmic coldness that makes numbers predictable but leaves the audience feeling unloved?
Direct mail marketing can give you that personalized touch that seems to be missing in today’s cold-hearted digital marketing landscape.
Not so long ago, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), analyzed data pairing response rates between direct mail and email. The stats showed that direct mail receives a higher response rate than does email marketing, 4.4% vs .12% to be exact. This is an amazing fact that puts the “direct mail is dead” belief in the vaults of urban legend.
The following set of facts further illustrate why direct mail is not only far from dead, but actually thriving despite the current marketing belief that if you are not advertising online, you are not marketing at all.
1 – Over 70% of people still like receiving mail offers. This can be attributed to the sense of tangible value direct mail offers appear to provide. In the past, most offers received in the mail were thrown out no sooner than they were picked up. Today, they are swiped away with one click of a mouse or a tap on the screen. What’s the difference? The sense of touch seems to bring backs some human quality that is missing in today’s Internet reality and could be the reason why people still like to see something in their inbox, even if it is just another one of those offers again. At least, they can still pick it up and throw it away with their own hands.
2 – Over 40% of people who receive some form of direct mail advertising visit the website of that company after viewing it. This only goes to show how direct mail marketing can complement online digital marketing strategies. As was stated before, everyone these days seems to be doing some form of advertising online and the one factor they are looking to establish is credibility. When a person receives an actual piece of mail from a company, they feel that the company actually exists – that it is real – and so are more likely to go online and visit their site to see what they have to offer.
3 – 36% of millennials under the age of 30 like receiving something in the mail. Why would anyone who grew up in the digital age of paperless mail enjoy receiving actual mail? It is pretty obvious. Because it is something new to them. As this specific demographic is poised to wield an impressive $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020, it makes sense as a business or marketer to send them offers they are only happy to receive. At least, happier to receive more than the digital counterpart which they view as “traditional” and “boring”.
4 – Direct mail creates more emotional triggers for purchasing. A study done by the Postal Service Inspector General’s office (OIG) has proven that direct mail ads were more effective than online ads in 8 out of 9 psychological and emotional categories proven to induced a buying response. Simply stated, direct mail ads encourage consumers to take action more so than digital ads and that too the actions most marketers want them to take – purchasing ones!
5 – Marketers spent over $45 billion on direct mail last year. This statistic is not surprising as it is backed up by the fact that stellar ROI’s were produced from such mailings. In particular, catalogs have really gained ground as of late and even as far back as 2 years ago (2016) over 100 million adults in the United States made a catalog purchase of some sort and that trend has only risen since then. As long as people are buying, it makes sense for both online and offline marketers to keep mailing.
Actually, direct mail marketing is not making a comeback because it was really never dead. The attention over the last decade just switched to digital forms of advertisement instead. Direct mail continues to produce higher response rates than email marketing, engages the prospect better, and generates more sales than many of the online advertising methods do. Not too bad for something that was supposed to be dead.