Direct Mail: The Bottom Line | DMA

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Direct Mail: The Bottom Line


In fact, while email marketing has struggled to generate impressive response rates, good old DM continues to play a vital role in multi-channel marketing campaigns.

Research shows that 86% of people have contacted a business as a direct result of receiving mail. It’s a thought-provoking statistic. Whereas digital marketing often seems ephemeral and impersonal, there’s nothing like receiving a letter that’s tailored to you. It says “you matter”. And it says the information inside is valuable. No wonder 4 out of 5 people remember reading direct mail in the last month*.

Every letter counts
Whereas emails often end up in spam boxes, direct mail arrives in a physical form you can touch. Letters and mail-packs are hard to ignore and provide a brilliant opportunity to communicate. They also evoke an emotional response. Paper with clever copy, a luxury texture, a glossy finish, or a creative format can produce intimate communications that resonate incredibly well. This builds relationships and leads to sales.

Research shows that campaigns with a direct mail element are 27% more likely to succeed than campaigns that don’t. Mail stays in the home for an average of 6.8 days across all sectors combined, and if it’s a targeted mailing that’s delivered at an opportune time, it gets read an average of 3.8 times. How many adverts enjoy that sort of longevity? Nothing hits home like a letter.

Old beats new
Digital technology is the future. But it might not be the future of successful advertising. The truth is that most digital advertising struggles to drive sales or change behaviour. Things like interstitial ads – those horrible things that pop up without warning – do more harm than good because they get in people’s way. It’s no surprise that so much money is spent on ad-blockers. Nobody will warm to your brand if you’re annoying people.

There’s also something somewhat sinister about retargeted ads. It’s like Big Brother is watching you. Click on a company’s website once (even by mistake) and you’re forever hounded by said company trying to sell you things. And unless digital marketing changes radically in the coming years, the situation is only going to get worse.

In a world full of click-bait and retargeting ads, there’s something reassuring about DM. It’s tangible, it gets read, and it gives copywriters the chance to do their stuff: to engage readers and speak to them in a personal fashion.

Back to the future
More people will turn towards DM as the world becomes more digital. Even young people are more likely than average to buy from a door-drop. Whereas technology sometimes hinders digital advertising, and makes it seem annoying or creepy, new innovations are helping direct mail become even more effective.

New barcoding techniques enable message sequencing, and a great deal of time and thought goes into refining mailing lists. Third parties can capture data for you and then provide an accurate database full of quality contracts. What’s more, you can reach specific people via DM without being overly intrusive. Door-drops, for example, let you target certain demographics without worrying about GDPR.

Whatever the size or nature of your business, direct mail specialists can produce, monitor, and deliver complete marketing campaigns from data and print through to enclosing and mailing, they make everything simple.

Spelling it out
The bottom line is that DM could be great fit for your business, either on its own or as part of an integrated campaign alongside digital and other traditional marketing techniques. Good direct mail makes people stop and think about brands and their relevance to them. And its response rates are excellent compared to digital – especially if an existing relationship with the recipient already exists.

When people receive direct mail 87% think it’s believable, 70% feel appreciated, and 70% also think better of the company that’s sent it. That makes DM 100% a sensible option. It’s amazing how tried-and-trust methods with traditional values still offer fantastic value for money. In today’s modern world, direct mail still provides plenty to write home about.

* Statistics all from

Menzies Response

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