As digital channels have become ubiquitous, many marketers have stopped to ask themselves whether direct mail really has a place in modern marketing campaigns. In fact, it’s just as effective as it ever has been for engaging and converting potential customers. Used wisely, direct mail makes a very productive addition to your marketing efforts.
Consumers Still Respond – And Do It Faster
Skeptics of the direct mail strategy often envision colorful mailers going straight to the trash, but statistics and studies show this isn’t the case. An impressive 79 percent of consumers act immediately on direct mail compared to just 45 percent who do so with other channels.
The email inbox is ever-present for many people who keep their smartphones on hand to glance at messages as they come in. In contrast, visiting the mailbox is a once-daily routine that many still relish. Sixty-two percent of Americans say they still enjoy checking their mailbox, and 72 percent prefer direct mail for brand communications.
Direct Mail Converts to Online Interaction
It’s a mistake to view direct mail as something separate from online marketing strategies. Done well, direct mail and digital outreach go hand-in-hand. After receiving direct mail from a brand they’re interested in, 44 percent of recipients visit the brand’s website and 34 percent conduct an online search.
Unlike emails, which are easily deleted, direct marketing is much stickier. Over a quarter of recipients will keep a piece of direct mail from a brand they’re interested in to use for future reference.
Local Companies Do Better Direct
Direct mail is particularly effective for local businesses. This is the preferred marketing channel for local shops and banks. If you have a brick and mortar location, direct mail is an effective way to send out coupons that customers can bring in to the store. Similar offers sent via email are less convenient for those who need to print out a physical copy of the offer.
Direct Mail Transcends All Age Groups
Some marketers erroneously associate direct mail with an older demographic, but younger audiences appreciate direct mail as well. Ninety-two percent of young shoppers report that they prefer direct mail when they’re making purchasing decisions.
Across all ages, this number is just 67 percent, suggesting that direct mail actually has a stronger hold on younger generations.
Consistency Is Key
Regardless of their marketing preferences, consumers prefer to see a consistent marketing strategy across all communications. Direct mail is clearly an effective option for businesses who want to round out their marketing strategy, but it’s important for these mailings to take on a look and feel that’s similar to other materials, whether online, in-store, or on television.
Sixty percent of millennials expect this level of consistency, and for good reason. Your brand is instantly more recognizable when you coordinate your print materials with other marketing pieces.
Today’s direct mail may not act as a stand-alone strategy the way it once did, but it’s far from dead. Paired with a sleek online appearance, direct mail will round out your marketing effectively.
Image via Flickr by aberrocreative