Is Direct Mail Dead?

Is direct mail dead? Short answer – no! Long answer – there is a lot of research showing direct mail marketing has much more of an impact than you might think. In this article we’ve got the most insightful – and surprising – statistics about direct mail in 2021 and how it can benefit your company.

Won’t people just throw away my direct mail?

A lot of people have this idea – your own mailbox is so full of mailers that you probably think other people just toss it all into the trash wholesale. But studies show that isn’t the case.

41% of millennials read, sort, or review mail at least 6 days a week (USPS). That number only goes up as your target audience gets older, hitting 57% for Gen X and 72% for Baby Boomers.

Not only do they come in contact with your direct mail piece, but 80% of millennials also pay attention to direct mail, while only 50% pay attention to online ads (Hubspot).

According to the same study by USPS, 62% of millennials said they had visited a store in the past month based on information received in the mail.

So with direct mail, you are more likely to come in contact with your targeted audience (because you know exactly who you sent it to), you’re more likely to actually have their attention, and that customer has a good chance that they will act on the information you give them.

You may be thinking, could I do this with digital marketing though? Let’s compare the same piece of marketing sent out as direct mail, or as an email. If a customer gets your direct mail piece and is interested in learning more, but they aren’t sure, that piece of mail may lay around on the counter or the desk while they consider your offer. Compare that to email, even if the customer is equally interested in learning more, they are less likely to pull the trigger that second. Once they close the email, though, they lose out on that continued exposure that may otherwise move them toward your service.

Isn’t digital marketing a bigger bang for your buck?

This is another huge misconception. According to a sweeping study done by the Canada Post, direct mail consistently outperforms digital advertising. Canada Post found that direct mail is easier to understand and more memorable than digital, eliciting a much higher brand recall.

In terms of return on investment, direct mail creates 20% higher “motivation response” in customers, meaning they were much more likely to move towards a purchase.

These trends hold true for all age groups studied, with ages 30-49 showing the highest response rate to direct mail, followed by 18-29, then 50-69.

Alright, so how do I create a successful direct mail marketing campaign?

There are a few factors that go into creating a successful direct mail campaign.

Be targeted. Consumers are more and more choosing a company based on the relevance of your services/products to their specific problem, rather than through brand loyalty or incentive programs (Forbes). This means you want to make sure your offer shows an understanding of their specific issue and demonstrates authority on your topic. You also want to make sure you are sending specifically contented marketing to your customers. The more you can segment your audience, the better.

Keep it simple. You don’t want to send a ton of pieces, with a ton of words and images on them and overwhelm your customer. Instead, you want to keep your design simple, keep your message simple, and make your call to action easy to follow. You can give them the details later down the line.

Diversify. Just like a stock portfolio, advertising provides the biggest return when your resources are spread across multiple channels. Customers spend 25% more when direct mail is combined with email campaigns, and that holds true for all other avenues of advertising (Forbes). To have the most successful advertising campaign you can, you need to be taking advantage of all your options.

Stand out. Most researchers believe part of the reason direct mail is so good at catching and holding people’s attention because of the physical nature of mail. The study done by Canada Post backs up this claim. They found that the higher the sensory engagement with the piece of mail, the higher the response. This means things like scent, sound, and dimension (3D direct mail) all increase the likelihood that you will get a good response rate through your direct mail campaign.

Measuring Direct Mail Campaigns

The only thing left to do now is measure the success of your direct mail campaign. As a part of the benefits you get with Kennickell’s Direct Mail + package, LEADMatch will allow you to track exactly how many leads you were able to convert with which each direct mail campaign. We tell you when your mail is delivered, the number of calls and website visits received as a result of this mailer, match your mailing lists to Facebook and Instagram users and allow you to retarget them online before or after they receive your mail. Get more info on our Direct Mail+ program.

Ready to get started on your direct mail campaign?

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