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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.