October 1, 2019

Direct Mail Still Proves to Be a Major Marketing Source

By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc. 

Does your marketing campaign need a kick in the number of responses you get from prospective customers? You may want to consider making direct mail a key force in that campaign — studies show that “snail mail” gets a better response rate than other marketing efforts, thanks in part to its touchy-feely nature.

Think about your own mailbox at home: Once, maybe twice during the earlier part of each week when you find a bundle of advertising circulars, you first scan what’s in the bundle and may organize it a bit, say by size, before you take it indoors. Then you’re most likely to scan the bundle again before deciding whether any pieces are worth further attention or should be tossed into the trash.

In large part, it’s because of this physicality with the ad source that direct mail is at the top of the Direct Marketing Association’s list of 2018 ad response rates. That DMA study found that 5.1 percent of U.S households respond to direct mail, which compares to response rates of 0.1% for email, 0.6% for paid search, 0.4% for social media and 0.2% for online display advertising.

Response rate is but one of many reasons to make direct mail a major player in your marketing efforts, however.

Here are a few more:

• The U.S. Postal Service Has Your Back

USPS delivered 77.3 billion pieces of marketing mail in 2018, down slightly from 80 billion sent to mailboxes in 2015. 

The postal service appreciates that business boon — just as much as it does with the likes of Amazon package delivery — too, making direct mail a chief element in its own online marketing efforts. It promotes, for example, such services as its mail-route mapping tool, which businesses can use to map and target addresses in a specific city or region for their ad campaigns.

“Our online mapping tool and Every Door Direct Mail delivery service make it easy and economical to plan and execute a mailing,” the post office boasts. “Just create mailpieces on your own, select postal routes and pay for postage online, and bring them to us for delivery.”

• You Can Boost Your Company’s ROI

The Direct Marketing Association also reported recently that direct mail is a $44.2-billion industry when total ad spend in the U.S. is taken into account; direct mail trails only teleservices with its $45 billion in that spending.

Other studies have found that for every $167 spent on direct-mail marketing in the U.S., products or services sell for an average of $2,095.

That’s an impressive return on investment of roughly 1,250%.

• You Can Make Print Part of Your Programmatic Mix

More marketers are using print as one of several ingredients in their marketing mix, finding that a business can target the audience it wants more effectively when a programmatic strategy, such as geo-targeting, also is a part of its arsenal.

Especially with a marketing consultant’s aid, your company can focus its print-marketing attention on:

— Managed print campaigns, be they direct mail, newspapers or magazines;

— Managed digital and direct-mail campaigns, through the use of IP address targeting, which allows you to attain not only a local reach, but regional and national reaches as well;

— And, performance analysis and reporting, which helps you improve your results not only in the print world, but the digital realm, too.

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