Why Direct Mail Keeps On Going


Why-direct-mail-keeps-on-goingHave you ever noticed how some things just seem to have staying power? There are some things that just keep on going. The Energizer Bunny™ keeps on going and going. The Rolling Stones are still touring. And the Chicago Cubs are still in pursuit of a World Series win (and according to the Back to the Future movies, 2015 is their year!).

You can add direct mail to that list. Direct mail has been written off as dead more times than George Lucas has made Star Wars sequels! Why is that? Why does direct mail keep on going when everyone thinks it shouldn’t?

Maybe it’s because direct mail still works. The Direct Mail Association (DMA) Factbook for 2013 indicates that 65% of consumers of all ages have made a purchase as a result of direct mail. That’s a huge number! And in 2012 the Direct Mail News reported that the average response rate for direct mail was 4.4% for both business-to-business and business to consumer mailings. Those are pretty respectable response rates.

So what accounts for direct mail’s ongoing success? Here are a few reasons why direct mail simply refuses to die:

People Trust Mail

Sure, we’ve all heard about “junk mail” and how people are tired of getting things they don’t want in the mail. But direct mail still reaches large audience segments that don’t trust and don’t respond to social media and other online channels. On top of that, people who would never open an email from an unknown source will open mail that’s appealing and interesting. Nobody ever caught a computer virus from something that came in the mail.

People Keep Interesting Mail

It’s way too easy to delete an email or to ignore an online ad. Maybe it has something to do with how easy it is for marketers to reach us with those communications. But if someone comes across a mailing that is genuinely interesting, they tend to hang onto it. Even if they don’t respond right away, they have a reminder staring at them from their desktop.

There’s Something Personal About Mail

Even when a mailing is mass-produced, there is something personal about getting a letter in the mail. At a recent Denver event, comedienne Paula Poundstone confessed to the audience that she still looks forward to getting her mail—even though she knows that there won’t be a personal letter for her. She said there’s still that hint of a personal touch that’s associated with getting the mail.

The Mailbox is Less Crowded

There’s no question that the volume of mail has dropped over the past few years. That’s actually good news for businesses who mail smart. It means there’s less competition in the mailbox and that means it can be easier to stand out.

As a smart marketer, of course, direct mail is just one of the tools you have at your disposal. We’ve just discussed some of the reasons you don’t want to ignore it, but you don’t want to put all of your marketing eggs in one basket. How can you integrate direct mail with your other marketing efforts? Click on the button below for a helpful checklist that outlines how you can integrate direct mail with your corporate website, TV, radio, and telemarketing to maximize the impact of those efforts.

View The Checklist