Why Consumers Trust Direct Mail More Than Email Marketing

10 December 2019 / By Mike Gunderson
Why Consumers Trust Direct Mail More Than Email Marketing on gundersondirect.com
Reading time: 4 minutes

Overall, consumers have greater trust in postal mail than the marketing emails they receive. Here’s why this trend has evolved.

Direct mail marketing is alive and well in large part because consumers have greater trust in the materials they receive by mail than email marketing.

But why is this the case?

Much of it comes down to the marketing material ending up in the hands of the right people at the right time. While email marketers often send repeat mass emails to everyone on their lists without bothering to target or personalize the offers, it’s too expensive to waste direct mail with such a lazy strategy.

Direct mail campaigns are usually carefully thought out, more targeted and, therefore, make a better impression on their recipients — to the point where 76% of people trust ads they receive in the mail, according to Marketing Sherpa.

Consumers also appreciate being able to touch and interact with the material, which gives it a more trustworthy quality.

Direct mail marketing is thriving, and here’s what you should know about why potential customers trust physical mail more than email.

Direct mail is more personal

Personalizing the direct mail advertisements you send out is straightforward because you already have access to important information, including the recipient’s address and name. These elements can easily be used to personalize the inside of the mailer, and variable data printing allows this kind of personalization to be done organically for each mailpiece. Some direct mail printers can even personalize the images in the mailing, allowing for features like personalized maps to the retail location nearest to that address.

With direct mail, you can design marketing collateral based on the things specific audience segments are looking for, and then target specific markets, even specific customers, with mailings targeting them.

According to Salesforce.com, 63% of Millennial consumers will share their data with a company when they know they’ll receive a personalized offer or discount in return. When you send consumers direct mail, it’s a chance to provide them with offers on the goods and services they actually want to buy.

While you can customize email marketing, too, many advertisers tend to send out mass deals to their entire mailing lists, losing that personalized feel in the process.

It also makes sense from a financial investment perspective for direct mail marketers to do their research and send targeted advertisements, because sending mail costs money.

Where brands often send unlimited emails without it costing them anything, direct mail marketing has a cost attached to each piece. These costs are increasing, as well, making it vital that marketers target their lists to recipients who’ll be interested in their products or services.

The good news is that marketing databases make this information accessible so you can target the right consumers. Even if a consumer doesn’t purchase from you immediately, it builds brand recognition if your product is something that fits his or her needs. This recognition makes you more trustworthy and could lead to sales in the future.

Paper-based advertising is easier to understand

There’s a scientific reason why consumers trust direct mail more than digital media, and it comes down to how easy the content is to understand.

Evidence collected by Canada Post suggests that direct mail creates higher brand recall because it takes 21% less effort to process the material.

The physical aspect of direct mail also contributes to greater brand recall, as being able to touch the advertisement makes it easier to remember. Overall, consumer recall is 70% higher with direct mail than it is through digital marketing.

Consumers trust brands that they remember. By sending direct mail, you’re presenting your brand as a trustworthy entity — unlike those companies that spam the email inbox every day.

There’s less intrusion with direct mail

How many emails do you get per day?

The average office worker receives 120 emails each day, and there are 2.4 billion emails sent every second of every day throughout the world. The numbers are massive, but when you’re relying on email marketing, that’s where you’re trying to compete.

Another thing to keep in mind is that about 50% of emails are spam, which leads to users ignoring them. In fact, Statista reports that marketing emails receive an 18% open rate, so 82% of these emails aren’t even read.

Direct mail, on the other hand, is less intrusive and easier to go through. A user with 50 unread emails isn’t likely to open all of them, but when the same consumer only gets three or four pieces of mail per day, it’s a lot quicker to look at everything.

Use direct mail the right way

Of course, you’ll only benefit from direct mail marketing if you’re able to use these techniques the right way. Spamming junk mail to everyone in a particular city won’t work for most brands because you’ll spend more money for worse performance and lower ROI.

Gunderson Direct has the strategic expertise to help you plan and execute successful direct mail strategies that build trust and drive revenue. We have the responsive data and lists you need and will supply the analytics necessary to help improve your ROI. Drop us a line for help increasing your leads and growing your sales numbers.

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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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