Is Direct Mail Dying? Think Again!

With the rise of email and social media, many marketers have leapt to the conclusion that print and direct mail is “dead.” But is direct mail really dying? The debate is more relevant than it’s ever been today, as the emergence of the Digital Age has seemingly taken over as the more prolific marketing medium.

Tangible mail can actually prove more effective than email marketing, because it enables consumers the opportunity to look a mail piece over— sans deleting— before making an informed decision. A recent poll conducted by the U.S. Postal Service revealed 81 percent of households scan their direct mail at least once a day—with 55 percent of consumers reportedly reading all of their direct mail on a daily basis; a stark comparison to the 78 percent of emails that never get opened.

Even Millennials still trust and read direct mail—92 percent of young shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions, and adults 24 years and younger are among the most direct mail responsive.

Contrary to marketing misnomers, direct mail continues to be heavily relied on as an effective way to promote a message, and a smart direct mail program can make direct marketing even more effective. Here are 3 tips marketers can utilize to drive more success to direct mail campaigns.

Stand Out from the Crowd
We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘a picture is worth a 1000 words,’ so it comes as no surprise that photos and images are one of the first things that will catch and keep your audience’s attention. Consumers are very aware of the visual appeal, or lack thereof, of your direct mail collateral; 67 percent of consumers consider clear, detailed images more important than product information or customer ratings.
Visual marketing is a staple in branding, and that isn’t something that will ever change. After all, images have been a part of advertising long before the advent of the Internet. Make sure your direct mail is easy to read, and designed with an easy-to-convey central message from the time it takes to get from the mailbox to the kitchen counter.

Relevancy Drives Results
With the abundance of consumer data available today, there’s no excuse for failing to precisely target the audience of your direct mailing initiatives. The goal with any relevant direct mail piece is to promote a product or service your potential customers want or need. Ensuring your marketing materials align with a corresponding target audience can generate more leads, greater response rates and future loyal customers.

According to findings from DMA’s 2015 Response Rate Report, direct mail boasts a 3.7 percent response rate with a house list, and a 1.0 percent response rate with a prospect list – not too shabby, when compared to the 0.62 response rate from various digital channels. Even more impressive? An additional 79 percent of consumers will act on direct mail immediately, compared to only 45 percent of consumers who respond better to email marketing efforts.

Knowing targeted consumers’ basic demographics is a starting point; however, a more complete consumer profile enables marketers to become more effective in both lead selection, and the messages used when communicating with leads.

Mailing List Makeover
Most business lists aren’t static. Over 40 million Americans change their addresses annually, and failure to update this relevant data can result in undeliverable mail, futile marketing efforts and wasted expenditures. Update customer data to drive a successful mailing campaign, including change of addresses and individuals who are no longer at companies you are trying to reach. Work with credible outside data experts to carefully analyze and examine your list information for a fresh perspective and strategy.

Ensure your direct marketing campaign connects with your target audience and maximizes your opportunity to increase your conversion rates. Make your message count with direct mail that delivers results!