Direct mail has a long history going back to 1681 when William Penn sent pamphlet as the first American direct advertisement, according to the Philadelphia Public Ledger. We have come a long way since then. The evolution of mail in just the last 20 years is enormous. Technology has given us better ways to target mail to the right people and fun ways to integrate mail with other digital marketing channels. We are often asked why direct mail is effective, so now we will look into it more deeply.
Let’s look at what the Data and Marketing Association says.
- People understand and remember what they read on paper better than what they read on a screen
- According to the research, all age groups are interested in receiving and responding to mail and for ages 18-21, response rates doubled in 2016
- Direct mail response rates in 2016 were 5.3% for a house list and 2.9% for a purchased list
- Customer response rates increased year-over-year by 43%
- Prospect response rates increased year-over-year by 190%
- People read postcards; they had a year-over-year increase of 3.9%
- 5 billion coupons were redeemed in 2015
- Over 100.7 million people made a catalog purchase in 2016
The US Postal Service has a couple of more numbers that were just released: 55-57% of people read their direct mail and 21-24% scan their direct mail. These are impressive numbers and a good reason why direct mail should be part of your marketing mix, otherwise you are missing out. The direct mail of today should link to online content and allow people to make purchases online. The driver is still direct mail, but the fastest response is done online. You can track who comes from what method by using coupon codes or special landing pages.
You must also target your list. Not everyone needs to get every offer. Tailor your offer to each person to get the most bang for your buck. Your data is vital to your response rate. Make sure you are capturing purchase history as well as any demographic information you have access to. The more you know the more enticing you can make your offers. This in turn gives you a bigger response rate. Mail boxes are less crowded now, take advantage of that with targeted mail that stands out.
Lastly, direct mail should not be boring. There are so many ways to add fun elements. Consider a few of these options that are not available for digital marketing: texture, fun folds, die cuts, or reactive inks. Consider adding technology such as: Augmented Reality, videos, or NFC. Get creative and make a fun interactive mail piece. Not sure how to get started, we are here to help!
Contact us today! We are glad to help!