Direct Mail: Does it Still Work?

In this digital world, is it worth it to still do direct mail campaigns? In comparison to digital advertising, the cost of print and postage can get expensive. Plus, it is much harder to track and determine your ROI with a direct mail campaign.

Ultimately, this is a hard question to answer. However, according to some recent studies by the Data and Marketing Association, direct mail campaigns may not be going extinct. While it has definitely declined over the past 10 years, more marketers are adding this type of campaign back into the mix of their integrated marketing plans.

The Data and Marketing Association states, “direct mail household response rate is 5.1 percent (compared to .6 percent e-mail, .6 percent paid search, .2 percent online display, and .4 percent social media). That’s over a 700 percent greater response than all digital response rates combined.”

Studies also show that there is a much higher response rate when there is a reward for a consumer’s loyalty or a money-off coupon.

It can also be a way to cut through the digital clutter and engage with a consumer on a more personal level, especially when considering the average household combined receives about 150 e-mails ads per day, and for millennials, it could be more if you include social media.

The United States Postal Service [USPS] reported that among 18- to 21-year-olds, direct mail response rates doubled in 2016. In fact, millennials surveyed indicated that they believe this approach to be a safer, more-trusted marketing tool and about 88 percent of millennials see the print on paper as more official than digital.

So, when asking whether might be worth it to launch a direct mail campaign, the answer is yes.

Like we always say, you must have a strategy before tactics. If you plan to include direct mail as part of your overall plan, make sure to really determine who you are targeting, what you are offering, and how you communicate that offer to your audience. There are also new technologies and tools that can help you with personalizing direct mail pieces as well as targeting a certain geographical radius. USPS now offers Every Door Direct, which can help smaller businesses do this cost-effectively while also marketing to your audience by age, income, and household size.

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