10 Direct Mail Marketing Myths Debunked

If you’ve dismissed direct mail marketing in favor of other tactics, you could be missing the many advantages of using this time-tested strategy, especially in today’s business environment. While direct mail marketing has always generated strong results, we explained in a recent article how it’s driven more digital activity and engagement since the pandemic began – and it shows no signs of stopping.

However, if you’re still on the fence, we’ve debunked ten common myths about direct mail advertising to prove that this trusty tactic deserves a spot in your organization’s marketing plan.

Myth #1: Direct mail is dead.

While direct mail marketing approaches have evolved over the years, it’s still a leading choice for one primary reason: it works! To get the most from your campaign, sharpen your strategy for today’s digital world and consider adopting proven techniques, such as the 40-40-20 rule of direct mail or the 3:33 rule that we covered in our post on direct mail marketing tips for success. While times have undoubtedly changed, shifting your direct mail game plan can go a long way toward generating the results you need to make a bottom-line difference.

Myth #2: Online ads are more effective than direct mail.

Why choose one over the other? In truth, online and offline advertising strategies working in tandem often generate the best results. According to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), coupling your direct mail campaign with digital marketing can drastically boost your response rates with a strongly-personalized direct mail effort. Omnichannel technologies like IQ Mail make it easier to blend digital and print marketing to lift campaign results by 23-46%.

Myth #3: You can’t target your ideal audience with direct mail.

In fact, today’s direct mail marketing technologies make it easier than ever to target the right customers, allowing you to filter your recipient database by criteria such as age, location, household income, interests, and hobbies. With this information, you can personalize, version, and segment your mailer using the latest variable data printing (VDP) techniques to ensure it resonates with your audience.

Myth #4: You can’t track the effectiveness of direct mail.

While tracking the effectiveness of a direct mail marketing campaign used to be a challenge, IQ Mail gives you an edge. Using an easy-to-access dashboard, you can effectively track who has responded to your campaign and how they chose to connect with you, whether via social media, phone, or your website. Designated email addresses, phone numbers, coupon codes, and web addresses are alternative tracking strategies for traditional direct mail advertising campaigns.

Myth #5: There isn’t enough room to tell your story in a direct mailer.

Adequate white space and an uncomplicated design can increase your direct mailer’s results. But with such limited real estate, how can you tell your company’s story? The answer is to include a QR code, website, or social media handles to direct your mailer recipients to online channels where they can learn more about your company. Opting for a longer-form brochure or newsletter instead of a postcard can also give you more print area for more content.

Myth #6: Email is more effective than direct mail.

Let’s debunk this direct mail marketing myth with three powerful statistics that demonstrate the undeniable efficacy of mail compared to email:

  • 80% of direct mail recipients take immediate action compared to only 45% of email recipients
  • Direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate compared to a mere 0.12% for email
  • Direct mail campaigns generate five times larger purchases than email campaigns

Myth #7: Young people don’t respond to direct mail.

If your organization targets digitally skilled millennials, you may worry whether direct mail marketing can work – and the answer is yes. Studies show that 95% of 18- to 29-year-olds respond positively to receiving personal cards and letters, with a 12.4% direct mail response rate.

Myth #8: Direct mail is forgettable.

Contrary to this myth, direct mail advertising yields a 70% higher recall rate than other forms of advertising, demonstrating that a well-executed mailing campaign can make a lasting impression. Additionally, mailers tend to stick around, mainly when it includes a compelling offer or call-to-action.

Myth #9: Direct mail marketing doesn’t differentiate your company from competitors.

Are you looking for ways to help your company stand out from the crowd? Direct mail is the new way to leap ahead of the competition. With fewer marketers using direct mail advertising, your piece offers a welcome respite from overcrowded email inboxes.

Myth #10: Direct mail doesn’t generate ROI.

We’ve saved the best for last! Direct mail offers an impressive 29% return on investment (ROI), making this long-standing marketing strategy a five-star contributor to any marketing mix. Not sure how to track your campaign’s ROI? The built-in tracking capabilities of IQ Mail make it easy to calculate your campaign’s return. Contact our team to learn more.

In debunking these direct mail marketing myths, we’ve illustrated the many advantages you stand to gain from incorporating this highly effective tactic into your strategy.  Let us show you how to get the most from your next campaign with direct mail services built for today’s savvy marketer.