3 Reasons Why Direct Mail is Making a Comeback

When online behemoths like Google and Amazon rank among the largest direct mail advertisers in the US, you can’t deny that direct mail marketing is still very much alive. But we’re not talking about your grandma’s direct mail.

According to the 2015 Direct Marketing Association Response Rate Report, regular direct mail is more than seven times more effective than all digital channels combined. Add personalization on top of that, and that rate can jump another 4 times.

Still not convinced? Here are 3 reasons why personalized direct mail deserves a top spot in your marketing budget.

3 Reasons Why Direct Mail is Making a Comeback

1) More data means more options

Today, just about everything is datafied. Through in-house CRMs, social media, and many other means, we continuously collect consumer decision and demographic information, and this deluge of data has enabled much more sophisticated market segmentation. Not only can we more accurately determine what percentage of men between the ages of 18 and 24 within 25 square miles of Rochester, New York will attend the local community college. We can determine who those people are.

Such precise targeting contributes to the higher response rates enjoyed by direct mail (3.7%, compared to email’s 0.01% according to the 2015 DMA Response Rate Report), which, in turn, translates to more marketers willing to invest in direct mail campaigns.

But where all of that data really contributes to your ROI is through advancements in personalization technology—easily the biggest reason for direct mail’s resurgence. Not only do we have a lot more data than before. We can more seamlessly integrate that data into highly personalized direct mail marketing campaigns that capture your various market segments’ attention and appeal to their unique pain points.

Personalization creates more rapport (and consequently, higher open rates) with your prospects through details as simple as addressing a recipient by name or as complex as varying what image and message goes out to what market segment. It can also save you a ton of money by winnowing down your mailing list to exclude irrelevant recipients.
Companies no longer have to scatter mass mailings in some generally promising direction, hoping they’ll hit a decent percentage of their targeted demographic.

2) People aren’t reading email like they used to

As a source of low to no cost marketing, every company is vying for buyers’ attention online, but with 200 billion emails sent worldwide every day, and 55% of email users admitting they don’t read email regularly, it’s getting harder and harder for marketers to get readers’ attention—especially without a previously established relationship with the consumer. According to DMDatabases.com’s article, more than 95% of emails in prospecting campaigns are never opened. Good luck with those odds.

Not only can people simply not keep up with the rising tide of email in their inboxes, but the growing frequency of spam and email viruses have made email users warier about opening messages, contributing to lower click rates.
If that wasn’t enough, email marketing pieces usually stay in a user’s inbox for mere seconds after being viewed, while direct mail tends to linger for days.


3) There’s less competition in your audience’s mailbox

While everyone is off advertising online, physical mailboxes have gotten a lot less cluttered. Not only does this mean that it’s easier to get the attention of your audience—it means the few mailings people do receive have far less of a “junk mail” vibe by default. With careful segmentation, targeting, and personalization, recipients are even less likely to toss your mail.

According to a melissadata.com report, when compared to static direct mail pieces, personalized direct mail yielded a 24.5% increase in conversion, 31.6% overall profit increase, 36% increase in response rate, and a 48% increase in repeat orders.

And if you think these trends only apply to older folks, you’re wrong. According to Direct Marketing News, millennials pay a surprising amount of attention to print adverts, with 77% reporting that they notice advertising in direct mail, compared to only 50% who pay attention to email advertisements.

While direct mail usage is on the rise again, it’s important to remember that without smart targeting and segmentation of your market, integration with other marketing channels, and personalization, you’re missing out on what’s actually making direct mail so popular and so effective.

Want to add personalized direct mail to your marketing strategy? We can help.