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Does Direct Mail Still Work in a Digital World?

As you’re crafting your next marketing campaign, you’ll likely consider plenty of avenues to connect with your desired audience such as email, social media, website, and other digital content. However, with so much digital clutter, you might ask yourself, “is my message standing out from the mass amounts of ads my audience is receiving?” If you aren’t utilizing direct mail somewhere in your strategy, the answer is probably not. While flashy digital channels have come and gone over the years, the effectiveness of direct mail has always been present. 

Direct mail is advantageous in today’s digital world because of its highly targeted segmentation and personalization options. It might seem like an outdated method of marketing since it has been around for well over 100 years, but direct mail results have never faded.

Direct Mail Results That Speak for Themselves

What if we told you that direct mail has an open rate of 90% compared to the 20-30% open rate of email (Data & Marketing Association)? Or that 82% of Americans say they trust print ads more than digital ads (Marketing Sherpa). These numbers prove your mail will be seen and carry a level of trust absent from digital content. Something vital for moving a prospect through your sales funnels. Mail also tends to float around households for multiple days. On average, advertising mail stays in households for 17 days (Mailmen). This increases brand recognition as consumers continue to see your mail piece.

The size of the direct mail industry might even surprise you. The direct mail industry is valued at $44 billion and continues to grow (Data & Marketing Association). This makes direct mail the second biggest industry for ad spend in the U.S. behind teleservices at $45 billion. 

Did we mention response rates for direct mail are 9 times higher than email (Data & Marketing Association)? Higher response rates lead to a higher return on investment. In fact, for every $167 spent on direct mail, product and service sales averaged $2,095 (MSP). Talk about a return! It’s only natural that results vary depending on the content, design, and quality of your mailing list, but if you weren’t optimistic about a direct mail campaign before, you’re likely starting to lean that way. 

Direct Mail is Data-Driven and Personalized

A key aspect of any marketing campaign is reaching the right audience, those that are likely to be interested in what you’re offering. Mail achieves this by building lists based on segmenting data with characteristics such as:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, occupation, income, type of home, ethnicity, and education
  • Geographics: Current location, zip code, subdivision, city, town, and county 
  • Psychographics: Lifestyle, activities, interests, beliefs, values
  • Behavior: Preferences, habits, buying patterns 

 A significant perk of direct mail is the hyper-focused list and personalization based on the above variables that some digital channels lack. This saves you money compared to mass marketing efforts as focused groups automatically have a higher chance to respond to your mail and make a purchase. 

After putting together your targeted list, personalization becomes easy. Details from your newly formed list allow you to include individual names and tailored messages on your mail pieces that appeal to recipients’ interests. Adding a name to your mail also increases response rates by 135%, so include them where possible (Mail Shark). Direct mail is also viewed as having a personal touch that digital channels can’t match. 70% of consumers agree that direct mail is more personal than digital interactions (Fundera).  If you’re aiming for a personal touch on your marketing campaigns, direct mail is the way to go.

The Bottom Line

Today’s digital clutter has hampered the ability to reach your target audience accurately and efficiently on a consistent basis, but direct mail is here to make up for it. It’s tried and true and holds values that are more precise than found online. From focused targeting to increased personalization, your direct mail will reach the right audience with the most compelling message. All the characteristics talked about above prove direct mail is sure to positively impact your brand, so get out there and start mailing!

Kessler Creative is an industry leader in direct marketing services. We’ve worked with clients of all sizes nationwide since 2007, and our capabilities continue to expand. Whether you’re looking for a top-notch design or digital integration that will make you stand out, your next direct marketing campaign with Kessler will elevate your brand to the next level! Contact us today and find out how.  

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