Why Direct Mail Still Works


9 Reasons why direct mail still deserves a place in a serious marketer's toolbox.

In today's all-digital, 24-hour commercial world, the idea of sending paper through the mail might seem like a relic of a bygone marketing age. Indeed, considering the deluge of junk mail and junk food delivery leaflets that pile up in the nation's mailboxes each day, it may seem that direct mail has run its course for useful marketing.

However, this promotional stalwart still has plenty to offer, even in these social media-dominated times. Here are nine reasons why.

1. Outflank your competitors

In any profitable industry, your marketing will have to rise above the noise of dozens or hundreds of competitors. Using direct mail can help set you apart from your online-only rivals.

2. Potential for novelty

But direct mail doesn't just need to involve a single sheet of paper. From catalogs to postcards, discount vouchers to freebie promotional items, direct mail's potential for novelty is limited only by your imagination and budget. And any successful marketer knows that novelty is one of the quickest routes toward customer engagement.

3. Feels more personal

If done correctly, direct mail can feel more personal and valuable than a purely digital message. In an era when receiving a hand-written letter is mostly a thing of the past, a carefully composed direct mail campaign can have real impact.

4. Privacy sensitivity

Recent scandals regarding online privacy mean that customers are becoming increasingly suspicious of digital marketing. While this is a challenge that needs to be overcome by any online business, adding a direct mail element to your campaigns can help reach customers who've taken the ad-blocking approach to maintaining their privacy.

5. Physical impact

Even the most carefully crafted marketing email can be discarded with a click. A paper-based message may take only slightly longer to be placed in the trash, but there's no doubt that a physical object can make a more significant impact during that time. Of course, this relies on it being designed to engage the recipients' senses and curiosity.

6. Reach a wider audience

Unbelievable as it may seem, not all your potential customers are highly active online. Facebook's user count may be superficially impressive, but for many people, social media and other online channels play only a minor role in their lives.

In contrast, sifting through the mail is an activity that nearly everyone does each day. Sending your marketing messages direct in paper form can help you reach a wider audience.

7. A question of trust

Added to this, surveys have shown that printed materials are trusted by close to 90% of their recipients, compared to less than 50% for emails. Jaded and cynical customers often react much better to direct mail than to the constant stream of online commercial messages.

8. High attention rate

Spam filters and visibility algorithms mean that online messages often go entirely unseen by their intended targets. With physical mail, every single item in a mailbox will be glanced at cursorily at the very least. You'll always have an opportunity to grab the recipient's attention.

9. Better branding

Lastly, direct mail can have a powerful branding impact. When a customer encounters your brand both offline and online, it increases the sense of credibility and importance. This has clear benefits in boosting conversions across all channels.

No serious marketer would suggest that direct mail is an outright replacement for lucrative online-only techniques. But it makes sense to spread a campaign across as many channels as possible, and printed material still has a vital and unique part to play. Contact Triangle today.


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