Alive and Kicking: Analyzing the Numbers Behind Direct Mail


Alive-and-Kicking-Analyzing-the-Numbers-Behind-Direct-MailThe fact that Apple, which has single-handedly revolutionized forward-thinking technology, is still using direct mail should be a wakeup call for businesses in every industry. If you’re not sure about the sustainability of direct mail marketing, then it’s time to consider the numbers. Despite the growth of digital media, direct mail response rates have held steady over the last four years. Mailings to prospect lists average a response rate of 1.38 percent, which is similar to the 1.78 conversion rate for marketing emails.

Perhaps the most surprising revelation is the fact that 73 percent of United States consumers prefer direct mail as their primary method of communication with brands. Despite the convenience of digital media, consumers consistently report that they enjoy checking the mailbox and finding promotional pieces mingled with personal mail. In a separate survey, 59 percent of consumers say that they enjoy receiving postal mail from brands about new services, products, and promotions.

So how do these numbers add up? Do lead conversion rates mirror the preference that consumers report regarding direct mail? The answer is a resounding yes, as direct mail boasts the highest ROI of any marketing technique, including social media and video marketing. Even though direct mail is generally associated with older generations, it’s also the preferred method of the 18 to 34 year old demographic as well.

Understanding Direct Mail Trends in 2014

As “user privacy” continues to dominate political and cultural discussions, an estimated 85 percent of brands are taking extra precautions to protect the identity and information of clients on their email lists. Even though privacy risks exist in every form of communication, users report feeling more secure with direct mail, which is incredibly important considering the current political and social atmosphere. Catering to user needs undoubtedly improves lead conversion rates.

The reality is that most brands don’t know how to run a direct mail campaign. Even though brands recognize and acknowledge the power of direct mail, they generally don’t have the experience to successfully run a campaign, and they fail to hire a professional service. This means that regardless of your industry, there’s very little competition in direct mail as compared to digital marketing strategies such as business blogging or email marketing.

Since response rates are as high as 6.5 percent and average 2 percent, brands that invest in direct mail can rely on above-average conversion rates to grow their business. Also, because direct mail can be integrated with digital campaigns such as email marketing and social media, it’s a popular option to enhance an already successful digital marketing strategy. Email is cheaper and more convenient than direct mail, meaning marketers are increasingly relying on digital inboxes as a means of communication.

The downside of this is that consumers are flooded with marketing material online, which diminishes the impact of even the most strategic campaigns. A free mail piece analysis of your existing marketing campaign will help you determine the steps needed to improve lead conversion rates and grow your business.

Direct Mail Best Practices