5 hard-hitting facts about the power of direct mail 

In the first part of this direct mail series (Direct Mail Is Far From Dead), we discuss the history of direct mail and how it’s been used in the past. Now, we expand upon the power of direct mail and why it is an underrated channel with a lot of opportunity. Here are 5 quick facts about DM explained: 

Fact 1: Direct mail is alive and well and working better than ever

After reading his own premature obituary, Mark Twain announced, “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Were Twain alive today, he would probably say the same about direct mail. The fact is, not only is DM not dead, but it can be one of the most effective tactics in a marketer’s toolbox. (Twain might not have been a marketer, but we bet he would have made one heck of a copywriter!) Think of all the daily mail you receive – do you know the brands that send you materials? I certainly do. 

Fact 2:  Customers actually prefer direct mail

According to AdWeek, 54% of consumers in a recent survey said they would rather receive direct mail than other forms of advertising. For many of those respondents, DM is perceived as less intrusive than emails. That same survey revealed that 70% of consumers feel it is friendlier and more personally directed. Many consumers see it as a better way to receive, read, and keep information for future reference. In other words, DM works because people like it (and with the current state of the world, they actually look forward to receiving mail!)

Fact 3: DM is testable and measurable

Whether you’re testing messaging, promotional offers, frequency, or formats, DM is easy to separate into discrete test cells, and customer responses are easily tracked and measured. We have been designing direct mail programs for one of our Utility vertical clients appliance protection plans for over five years, and still, we optimize. We recently switched from postcards to letter mailings after a test showed letters returned a 64% higher ROI. And we will continue to test alternate formats and messaging. What works today might become less effective over time. Testing should be part of any DM strategy to keep both your messaging and presentation fresh.

Fact 4: DM is highly creative

You can literally see the excitement when our creative teams are briefed on a direct mail campaign. As with the example above, a few other mediums give you the same level of creative freedom to customize how your message is delivered to match your offering and your audience. The choices go beyond the official feel of a letter, or the promotional appeal of a postcard. Different printing methods, paper stock, and folds, for example, can let you express your brand as luxuriously, as humorously, or as seriously as necessary. There really is no other medium that is as flexible and creative as direct mail. Imagine being able to design the medium in which your Instagram DM (direct message) was sent – not just the message itself. The options with direct mail are almost limitless.

Fact 5: Direct mail enhances omnichannel campaigns

According to the DMA, combining direct mail and digital media in a single effort increases response rates 118% and conversion rates 28%. A B2B electronics client recently introduced an ink and toner auto-fulfillment program to the marketplace. And, while their refresh offering had many distinct advantages over competitors’ programs, they had little time to build awareness while also generating quick customer sign-ups. Our solution was an omnichannel campaign that included social media, display ads, retargeting, and YouTube videos – all great tactics for building fast awareness. But with the introduction of direct mail, we saw a spike in driving direct enrollments (+81% over initial projections), proving the value of utilizing in an omnichannel strategy.

Ask us how you can add DM to your marketing mix

We welcome the chance to speak with you about how direct mail can increase returns and lessen the risk of your omnichannel campaign. As these examples and statistics show, direct mail is far from dead. It works. Email our COO, Rachel Schulties (RSchulties@marketsmithinc.com), to schedule a consultative meeting today!

And that’s a fact.