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15 Reasons Why Direct Mail Isn't Dead

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

You might be wondering if directs mail has a place in your 2020 marketing strategy. With such an emphasis on having a digital and online presence, does direct mail still have a place after all?

Direct mail is not dead

Numbers speak volumes and The direct Marketing Association have “found that direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate compared to email’s 0.12%[1]” It is clear that Direct mail still has a place in a digital age and can create great marketing successes.

Jim Warren for example the marketing director of Bloom and Wild has said "When you get to a certain scale you have to start looking at other channels as digital will flatten out, become too expensive and the audience won’t broaden[2].” He turned his marketing efforts to include Direct mail and "reported an average order value increase of 15% over digital channels, among other successes[3]."

He is not alone in discovering what Direct mail continues to deliver, Joe Fletcher from This Work says “Direct Mail consistently delivers our best customers compared to any other channel[4].” Direct mail is far from dead, it still has a place, it can be used to really enhance your marketing strategy. Here are 15 reasons why Direct mail still works in today’s digital world and you should incorporate it into your 2020 marketing strategy.

Why direct mail is effective in marketing and still works.

1. Direct mail has great reach capabilities

Direct mail has an additional reach of +13%. This means for every 100 people reached with direct mail, an additional 13 people will see it too. This gives direct mail a unique competitive edge compared to other channels, not only do you reach your targeted audience but a further 13%. Helping build your brand awareness, chances of response and completed call to action too.

 Direct mail has great reach capabilities

2. Direct mail evokes a high interaction.

Over a 28 day period your direct mail item will be interacted with on average 4.17 times. Whilst direct mail can be more expensive initially than other channels it has a high interaction rate, helping to get your customer further down the funnel and closer to completing a CTA.

3. Benefit from a high lifespan

Direct mail items are live in the home for an average of 7.69 days. In that time your mail can continue to be seen and remain in your readers mind.

Sometimes we communicate with our audience not necessarily at a time when they need our products or services. If your direct mail has an offer or voucher. It is more than likely that when their need changes they will think of you. We have all been there when we have an offer or voucher ad put it in the fridge to not forget about it. The longer your direct mail is in the house, the more your brand is being scene and will come to mind at the right time.

Direct mail has a high lifespan

4. Builds trust and credibility

Consumer distrust is growing within the online market, yet direct mail is associated with greater trust and credibility. It is no secret that "mail takes more time and effort to produce, and the perception is of messaging that is more considered and thought-through compared to quick-fire email."[4]

This immediately puts you on a good footing with your audience which can then be enhanced with personalisation.

5. Competitive response rates

"Direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate compared to email’s 0.12%[5]" Whilst 4.4% may not seem very high initially when you compare it to emails at 0.12% it really is a good response rate. It really goes to show how connecting and investing in your customer really pays off.

Royal Mail MarketReach have reported than across all sectors the total commercial actions were 243 per 1000 items. These commercial actions vary from going online and visiting their website, contacted the sender, redeemed or bought an item to planning to planning to go shopping. They certainly are ideal actions to evoke in mail marketing.

Direct mail has competitive response rates

6. High return on investment

"Direct mail has a median ROI of 29%" USPS Customer & Market Insights, 2018

When a good ROI is considered to be between 5-12%, anything higher than 12% to be an excellent ROI. 29% ROI is not to be missed. Just remember you need to deliver a strong message CTA to achieve this but it is more than achievable.

7. Direct Mail evokes value in your customers.

The sensation of touch can be a strong one - According to studies 24% of people value something more they can touch than they can just see. Think about the quality of paper stock you use along with finishing techniques and envelope design that could make your mail stand out in peoples minds.

8. Direct mail is a physical tangible thing

39% of households say they have a dedicated mail holding area, here the customer will sit and put time aside to go through their mail. There is no distraction or competition here like there is online.

Direct mail demands engagement by being a physical thing consuming physical space. It can't be deleted like an email without looking at it or left open on one of 15 tabs to be ignored or missed. Even if the only interaction is to pick it up to dispose of it, it has still consumed their time in reading to understand its purpose beforehand. The key message is still delivered.

9. Stands out from the crowd

With the growth of digital & email marketing, Direct Mail now stands out more as a distinct way for companies to communicate with consumers. This is especially prevalent with 18-24 year olds who are more likely to respond, with over 75% of them looking forward to finding what's in their daily post.

Direct mail demands attention and interaction

10. Access to all ages and life stages

It is well known that reaching the older demographic through online marketing is incredibly hard. Facebook Ads for example simply has the age range of 65+, there is no breakdown between the ages like there is below 65+. This is because that demographic simply don't have a strong online presence. "Only 67% of people ages between 65 and 80% have the internet.[6]" 34% of people aged 65+ use social networking sites.

Whereas mail can reach a range of ages and people at different life stages, quite notably; millennials, home owners, families, social group A and the retired.

11. When there is a need

It's not always possible to reach your audience at the moment they might need your product or services. However when questioned 60% of people said that advertising mail helps keep the senders information at the forefront of their minds. Mail can have a lasting effect on readers ensuring the message can be easily triggered at a later date. It's easy to see how mail has such a high ROI.

12. Target your customers

You can be highly specific with who you target with direct mail. We offer a range of data services which can help with targeting. Customer profiling which will identify your top customers and identify your customer demographic. This can be highly beneficial for highlighting where campaigns could be most effective rather than mailing your entire data base the same message. Partially addressed mail is perfect for businesses looking to communicate with look-a-like customers and focus on their new customer acquisition.

Home mover marketing is another way to target specific customers not on necessary on your database. This target people who are in the home moving process, ideal for letting them know about your products or services before your customers.

13. Direct mail is trackable

Direct mail tracking is not automated but there are ways of achieving a trackable campaign. By including a unique CTA from a landing page, promotional code or phone number you can then track leads coming to you as you know they have come from that marketing channel.

Direct mail is trackable

14. Supports multi channel marketing

When used as a primary or secondary channel alongside other media, Mail can act as an introduction or re-enforcement of the product or service. This facilitates a quicker recall of a brand's message and an increased chance of further interaction with it.

Especially online....

In 2017 with over 46% of the UK owning a smartphone, the ability of accessing online content anytime in peoples daily lives is changing how they behave. Products can be immediately researched or price compared, customer service can be triumphed or vilified on social media.

Interacting with digital channels is usually the last step of a journey that was often started by offline channels. Royal Mails' own research showed that 92% of people were driven to digital activity as a result of receiving Direct Mail

15. Can make a big impact

You can get creative with your direct mail from its message, personalisation, shape, size and material. You have every opportunity to make a lasting impression with a strong CTA to deliver your desired campaign goals.

Create a big impact with your print marketing

Image source: https://www.getmemedia.com/ideas/kit-kat-grabbed-attention-by-spoofing-an-everyday-mailing/royal-mail-marketreach.html

Here Kit Kat mimicked a Royal mail delivery card, which would definitely grab the readers attention. It also brought home the campaign message of the educating customers to their new product being 'chunky'.

It is reported that this campaign was very successful with 87% of recipients claiming their free Kit Kat Chunky.

Why you should incorporate Direct mail into your 2020 marketing plan.

As you can see Direct mail is far from dead, it actually delivers response rates and ROI. Whilst online marketing is very saturated now is the best time to take advantage of what direct mail can deliver for your business. Stand out from your competitors and see if direct mail could be the marketing channel missing to get you to your target goals.

Start your direct mail campaign today

Help is at hand for newbies or experienced Direct Mail Users

As a member of Royal Mail's Strategic Mailing Partnership and Mail Made Easy™ partner Eight Days a Week Print Solutions can help access extra discounts for those trying Direct Mail for the first time or those looking to increase their Direct Mail usage.

1. Advice to test Direct Mail for the first time.

2. Answers to why your Direct Mail has not been delivering results.​

3. Or you're just looking to increase the volume or the design of the Direct Mail undertaken and need to ensure the most cost effective pack is being produced.

Get in touch and we'll show you Why Direct Mail Still Works!

Tel: 0115 939 9797

Email: solutions@edwps.co.uk

[1] https://dma.org.uk/article/why-direct-mail-is-delivering

[2] https://dma.org.uk/article/online-retailers-receiving-much-needed-boost-from-direct-mail [3] https://dma.org.uk/article/online-retailers-receiving-much-needed-boost-from-direct-mail [4] https://dma.org.uk/article/why-direct-mail-is-delivering [5] https://dma.org.uk/article/why-direct-mail-is-delivering [6] https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/05/17/technology-use-among-seniors/

Insights from JICMAIL Mail Insights 2019 and Royal Mail MarketReach Insights