6 Reasons Direct Mail Is Still a Game-Changer

25 June 2019 / By Mike Gunderson
Gunderson Direct Mail Marketing

Some things come and go, but others will live on forever. This is why direct mail will continue to stand the test of time.

When it comes to modern marketing, the industry is very quick to throw out the perceived “old” and welcome the “new” with eager and open arms. The rapid ascent of digital marketing has created so much buzz that it’s easy to forget about the value and impact that offline marketing has, or more specifically, that direct mail has.

Contrary to what may be popular belief, direct mail is not only alive and well, but it remains one of the most effective marketing strategies to date.

Here are six reasons that direct mail is still a game-changer.

1. Easier to internalize and more memorable

The goal of all marketing campaigns is to make an impact on your target audience, and one of the best ways to do that is through direct mail. One study shows that direct mail takes 21 percent less cognitive effort to review and process, and it elicits a much stronger brand recall than digital marketing. This level of comprehension makes it much more likely that people will not only remember the product but also that they will take the necessary steps to redeem the offer.

2. A win with millennials

As opposed to what most think, marketers can reach millennials through avenues other than digital media. As a matter of fact, 84 percent of “digital natives” take time to look through their physical mail, and 64 percent of them would rather scan that mail for useful information than their email. According to neuromarketing research, millennials who are exposed to physical ads have a stronger emotional response to them, resulting in a more memorable experience and even more, the impetus to make a buying decision.

3. It gets a response

As compared with email inboxes, which are notoriously overflowing with unsolicited marketing emails and offers, people are significantly more accepting of direct mail, which is delivered via a channel that is much less overwhelming. This level of accessibility plays a distinct hand in influencing direct mail’s impressive response rate, which can be 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital media. According to the Direct Marketing Association, 4.4 percent of direct mail campaigns receive a response, as opposed to just 0.12 percent of those sent through email.

4. Personal connection

Technical advancements aside, as humans, we intuitively value the tactile experience of giving and receiving tangible objects. Therefore, even the perceived junk mail that ends up in our mailboxes takes the upper hand over marketing emails. The act of seeing it, holding it, and opening it directly speaks to the innate connection that we have with tangible items, and it’s why 60 percent of people say direct mail creates a lasting mental impression. According to a study called The Private Life of Mail, 57 percent of people feel more valued and authentically connected when they receive postcard marketing.

5. Trustworthy

Research shows that we put a lot of trust in direct mail and the companies that send it, especially as compared with digital ads. This level of trust is likely due to one or all of these factors:

  • Print ads are a time-tested format.
  • We get to choose when we want to see the ads (as opposed to being bombarded with unsolicited email spam on our computers and other devices).
  • Nobody is afraid of having their identity stolen when reading a piece of direct mail.

Whatever the reason, most people still view print advertising as the most trustworthy form of marketing.

6. It ignites action

One of the main differentiators between direct mail and digital marketing is that it is tangible. Not only do people feel more of an innate “need for the items advertised when they come in the form of physical mail, but they’re much more likely to hold on to mail offers and use them later.

For example, it’s effortless for people to take a bulk action in their inbox and delete all marketing emails in one fell swoop. When they receive an offer in the mail, however, they’re more likely to hold onto it for future use, especially if it includes a “keepable” like a tip-on card or magnet to put on a refrigerator. This keepable then acts as a constant reminder to take action, and it is why 66 percent of people end up purchasing a product as a result of direct mail.

So, the verdict is clear: Direct mail is still alive and well, and it remains one of the most effective ways of successfully delivering a marketing message to a target audience. It provides far superior response rates than even the most progressive online marketing campaigns, and it removes the challenges associated with trying to compete in an overly crowded online world.

While it may be tempting to disregard direct mail as an antiquated or old-school marketing technique, research tells us it will continue to succeed in areas that digital never will.

If you’re interested in adding direct mail into your marketing mix, then drop us a line.

About The Author

Mike Gunderson

Mike Gunderson is the founder of Gunderson Direct, Inc., a direct marketing agency that helps businesses drive new leads and close more sales through traditional offline channels, especially direct mail.

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