6 Reasons Why Direct Mail Marketing Still Works

Full Mailbox Direct Mail

In an age where digital is king, direct mail marketing might seem sort of quaint.

After all, more people consume video online than watch TV, so what chance can a traditional printed mailer have to reach your customers?

Don’t count out direct mail just yet. It remains a great way of reaching and connecting with your target audience. Here are six reasons why direct mail marketing still works.

1. It has an impressive ROI

Social Media Marketing compared to print marketing

Direct mail marketing gives you a greater return on your investment than digital forms of marketing such as online display and paid search.

According to figures from the Data & Marketing Association, direct mail has a median ROI of 29 percent, putting it ahead of paid search and online display ads, and just a single percentage point behind social media marketing.

It isn’t only businesses that see gains from direct mail marketing. The non-profit fundraising study Heart of the Donor found that 61 percent of the people who’d given to charity in the previous year had made at least one donation through direct mail.

And according to 2018 figures by Nonprofit Source, Baby Boomer and Greatest Generation donors are more likely to respond to direct mail than digital requests. Direct mail motivated 36 percent more donors to give online in 2016 compared to the previous year.

Their figures note that for every $167 spent on direct mail in the U.S., marketers are able to sell $2,095 in goods.

2. It lets you target your audience

Target market people competition leadership

Some people might hear the words “direct mail” and think of a piece of mail labeled “To Our Friends at 1213 Maple Street” or worse, “Occupant.” In other words, something completely impersonal.

However, there are many tools that let businesses like yours target individual customers or audience segments with your direct mail campaigns.

Among them is variable data printing, or VDP, which allows you to personalize any printed piece, perhaps with the customer’s name or messaging designed to connect with them.

The same nonprofit source data we cited earlier notes that adding a person’s name and full color on a piece of direct mail can increase response rates by 135%.

Personalization is critical in marketing. A study done by Salesforce in 2017 found that personalized recommendations produced four times as many conversions than non-personalized offers.

3. It’s an analog format that can complement your digital marketing

road sign to multichannel marketing

No one succeeds with their marketing campaign by focusing on a single channel. Think about the way promotions for the latest blockbuster or newest smartphone are everywhere: on television, online ads, billboards, print ads, the sides of buses. It’s what’s known as multi-channel marketing.

Each serves its own purpose – digital marketing might allow you to cast a wider net, but print has longevity, something we’ll touch on later in the article.

With direct mail, you can find ways to marry your digital marketing efforts with your print strategy to reach customers. For example, your mailer might include a QR code that customers can scan for a special offer.

According to the DMA, coupling your direct mail campaign with digital marketing can drastically boost your response rates. Just be sure that you lead with a strongly-personalized direct mail effort.  

4. Direct mail helps you stand out

Twenty years ago, that statement wouldn’t have been true. But now, fewer marketers are using direct mail, which helps your mail stand out. Digital marketing might seem flashy and exciting, but direct mail is less common, and there more effective at helping differentiate you.

Many consumers say just the simple act of getting mail in an increasingly paperless world is exciting on its own.

5. Direct mail sticks around

According to the Direct Mail Association, roughly two-thirds of customers who get a piece of direct mail make a purchase based on that mailing.

That’s partially because – unlike email – direct mail tends to stick around. It takes up space in your home. And if you include a special offer with your mailer, customers will be more likely to hang on to it and – when the time comes – act on it.

6. Direct mail is for everyone

Positive girl in outwear receiving correspondence at hall entrance

According to the U.S. Postal Service, nearly half of all Millennial postal customers check their mailboxes each day and happily go through their direct mail. Younger people also respond to direct mail, at a rate of about 12.4 percent, according to the DMA.

In other words, direct mail works for every age group. And while the stats we mentioned above show why you shouldn’t count out younger customers, direct mail can be especially effective for older consumers – 65 and up – who are less likely to own smart phones or use social media.

Are you getting ready to launch a direct mail campaign but aren’t sure of the best way to reach your target audience? PDC Graphics can help.

We’re committed to doing more than just putting ink to paper and sending out mail. We’re interested in increasing your ROI by finding untapped segments of your audience and creating personalized pieces of mail that resonate with customers and donors.

Contact us today to request a quote and learn more about our direct mail capabilities.

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