Direct Mail Over Digital: Why the Classic Approach Still Works


Direct-Mail-Over-Digital-Why-the-Classic-Approach-Still-WorksAlthough digital marketing is prioritized in every company’s marketing strategy, people are too quick to dismiss print marketing strategies as a dead art. In fact, strategies like direct mail are still important to any company’s comprehensive marketing plan. Some may be surprised to learn print remains an important component of every digital effort. The strongest marketing strategies blend the physical and digital world.

Privacy and the Consumer

Marketing today takes place primarily online. However, most of the purchasing still takes place in person. Consumers are used to being manipulated by digital marketing tricks. The massive amount of data collected on each consumer daily creates the ability for marketing to specialize in a way not possible even ten years ago. With more and more press about digital privacy being invaded by marketers taking data, many consumers don’t feel safe in online advertising any more.

Direct mail does not have this reputation. Combining direct mail and online data gathering approaches can yield the same specialized approach to targeting consumers without the same negative reputation online marketing has developed.


Printed media has credibility. In the internet age, everyone knows what you read online is not necessarily true. Advertising saturation online gives digital marketing a bad reputation. Many consumers also fear digital ads because of potential viruses. Print ads bring no danger. Regardless of the content of the printed piece, a tangible piece of paper gives it more credibility than most digital ads. It’s also been shown customers pay attention more when reading direct mail than when reading a website. Skimming rates skyrocket when reading off the screen. Information delivered through direct mail is more likely to sink in.

Connections to the Digital World

Direct mail is more limited than a website in the amount of information it can deliver. The solution to this isn’t to try to pack as much information possible on a small space. This leads consumers to skim the content, and it lessens credibility – taking away from direct mail’s natural strengths. Marketers have addressed this problem with QR codes that bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds. Marketers can first engage customers’ attention with direct mail, and then direct them online with a QR code for further information. Customers who follow up are more likely to make a purchase, as they’re interested.

The Financial Side

Direct mail is also cost-effective. The popularity of digital marketing has led to an increase in pricing of digital marketing campaigns. Digital marketing is shiny and new; this means it is perhaps priced beyond its potential benefits. Direct mail, on the other hand, being older and less flashy, is much less expensive to design and produce.

Direct mail has a higher visibility than many digital marketing approaches. Companies spend a lot of time and money on boosting their SEO rankings. This is important to success. However, regardless of ranking, all companies become buried among their competitors in search results. Direct mail stands alone, unique for customers used to being bombarded with online ads.

A comprehensive marketing strategy must recognize the importance of direct mail.

Direct Mail Best Practices