Consumers Like Direct Mail

For the past several years, direct mail has been bashed for being too old school and past its time. The reality is far from that. Direct mail response is on the rise. Consumers enjoy getting direct mail that is applicable to them. When direct mail is targeted correctly, it will not be considered “junk mail.” Yes, even millennials like to get mail

For the past several years, direct mail has been bashed for being too old school and past its time. The reality is far from that. Direct mail response is on the rise. Consumers enjoy getting direct mail that is applicable to them. When direct mail is targeted correctly, it will not be considered “junk mail.” Yes, even millennials like to get mail.

Here are a few reasons people like to get mail:

  • Its delivered to their home through no effort on their part
  • It can be fun (get creative and think outside of the box)
  • A way to save money (people like a good deal)
  • It’s informative (people are curious)
  • It’s easily kept for future reference or use (use a magnet, they can then post on the fridge)

Direct mail statistics you should know (as reported in “From Letterbox to Inbox 2013”):

  • 79 percent of consumers say that they act on direct mail immediately
  • 56 percent of consumers stated that they found printed marketing to be the “most trustworthy” of all media channels

So what do people do after they get a direct mail piece? (“Consumer study reveals ‘direct mail matters’ in connected world,” July 11, 2013)

  • 44 percent visit a brands’ website
  • 34 percent search online for more information about the product
  • 26 percent keep the mailing for future reference

Keeping all of the above in mind, how can you change the way you send direct mail? Are you focused on the consumer and what is in it for them? Do you have a clear call to action and the benefits they get by responding? When you think you do, get someone from outside your organization to critique it for you. You will be surprised with what you can learn.

Using the fact that almost half of the recipients will go online and check you out after getting your direct mail piece, do you have landing pages designed with them in mind? Are you using responsive design so that they can view your website and landing pages on mobile devices? These days, using responsive design is the best way to have your online content look correctly no matter what device is looking at it. Direct mail will drive people to online engagement; make sure you are ready for them.

The only way that direct mail will continue to work is if we as marketers send direct mail to consumers that is designed well, has a clear call to action and is targeted to the right people. This keeps recipients happy and increases your response rates.

Author: Summer Gould

A blog about Direct Mail Marketing, tips, tricks and what not to do.Summer Gould is President of Eye/Comm Inc. Summer has spent her 27 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as a board member for Mailing Systems Management Association of San Diego. You can find her at Eye/Comm Inc’s website: eyecomm.org, email: summer.gould@eyecomm.org, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.

2 thoughts on “Consumers Like Direct Mail”

  1. Direct Mail rules, Summer! We’ve been doing cross-channel member acquisition with our health plan clients for the two years that Obamacare has been around and nothing else comes close to good, old-fashioned direct mail. We’ve been using a combination of DM, Facebook ads, banner ads, email, and paid search, and the preponderance of our leads have come from the direct mail campaigns. One of those DM campaigns, in fact, had an average response rate of 4.25%.

    And when given a choice of responding via BRE or online, it was the BRE, hands-down, that came out on top. Of the tens of thousands of total leads, a remarkable 75.9% came in the old-fashioned way. And furthermore, the percentages of each age group using that channel were equally remarkable: 69.9% of 18 – 25 year-olds responded to the campaign via BRE, while their parents and grand-parents came in at 68.8% and 83.2%, respectively. Who says kids don’t read anymore?

    So, Long Live Direct Mail!

  2. The days of spray and pray mailings are long gone and rightly so. DM today, as you state, is much more focused and when combined to other channels and techniques it becomes a very important part of the foundation of any reliable and effective campaigns. Imagine brushing your teeth without a toothbrush – you can get the job done but it won’t nearly be as effective. I know that was a funny analogy but you get the point.

    DM has morphed into one of the main building blocks of consumer engagement. Companies that made the jump to the electronic side of things early on have now come full circle. They understand that no one medium, outlet, approach or platform is sufficient. All the parts must be moving in the same direction, at the same time, choreographed and supportive one of the other.

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