According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail still gets a response rate of 3.4% from existing customers, which is almost 30 times the rate for email marketing. Mailing campaigns that include catalogs bring in $2 for each customer they reach, and $10 for each returning client. That’s because direct mail still works, for a few (very good) reasons:
#1: Consumers Still Enjoy Receiving Mail
Possibly because of email and online ad saturation, consumers still open physical mail with some anticipation. The DMA’s 2014 statistical fact book shows that up to 80% still open most of their mail, even including items that are visibly marketing-related. And a U.S. Postal Service survey shows that almost 50% of household heads read direct mail immediately on its arrival. You can’t argue with those stats!
#2: People Reply
A large percentage of recipients take notice of the direct mail calls to action (CTAs) – so much so that retailer JC Penney is bringing back its print catalog mailing, 5 years after stopping it. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, data showed that much of the company’s online sales were a result of receiving the print catalog. The DMA reported that replies emanating from mail campaigns averaged more than 13%.
#3: Digital CTAs Work Well
The opportunity to meld the medium with mobile CTAs gives customers more options for responding, and takes the discussion online for those who prefer the convenience of digital media. SMS or QR code CTA integrate mailers with mobile devices, while personalized URLs and unique email identifiers make it easy to respond.
#4: Personalization is Possible
The advent of enhanced data collection methods means companies these days have far more information about their prospective clients than in the past. By using personalization options such as tailor-made product offerings based on past buying history, you can target your ideal customer more specifically than before.
#5: Options are Endless
Gone are the days when direct mail campaigns comprised business-like letters in envelopes. Now, you have such a range of options that it’s entirely possible to customize your content even down to the format you use. This is good for companies targeting multiple customer segments, because the media used to reach the Millenials might be different from the ideal format for a senior. From postcards, through brochures and novelty, die-cut products, the sky is the limit when it comes to direct mail design options.
#6: Targeting Nets Measurable Results
Segmenting your target market by criteria such as demographics, behaviors, income and interests enables you to know exactly who you’re reaching. And provided you track your campaigns effectively, you’ll be able to measure how well it’s working. Unlike email, which can be forwarded and shared, direct mail campaigns typically reach only the person they are intended for. That makes it a much more controllable method of marketing than digital options.