During the breakthrough of email as a widespread communication tool, many industry experts were convinced that the immediacy and targetability of email would cement its position as the direct marketing technique of choice. However, since then, direct mail has continued to remain an essential component of the marketing mix. In its recent response rate report, the Direct Marketing Association found that direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate compared to email’s 0.12%.
So, what are the factors behind direct mail’s popularity and continuing success today? Certainly, advances in printing quality and the creative use of envelopes and document seals have combined to create messages that really stand out. Plus, this creativity is happening at a time when consumer distrust for all things digital has become more prevalent.
According to analysts, we are now in a ‘post-truth’ world of uncertainty in which opinion is umpired by internet voices and accusations of ‘fake news’. This means that the printed word is now being associated with greater credibility and trust than ever before. Consumers understand that mail takes more time and effort to produce therefore the messaging is more considered and thought-through compared to quick-fire email or a PPC ad.
Although gaining trust will allow you to reach prospects, influencing them is a different story. Messages will still need to be on point, and design will need to carry enough impact to cut through the digital noise. One key advantage mail carries is that it’s tangible and real. Receiving post, handling it and opening it requires more interaction and engagement than clicking a button to view. In a Royal Mail study, 60% of respondents said the very physical nature of mail made it easier for them to recall messaging at a later date. By remaining in household circulation, messages have the opportunity to be read and read again.
The perception that mail only works with a specific audience, namely older recipients, is far from the truth. Despite being raised in a digital era, Millennials respond warmly to the tangible impact of mail and appreciates the care and craft that goes into it. Studies show that 95% of 18-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters which is the emotional pull that clever direct mail marketing taps into.
Those businesses gaining the most marketing attention are using a mix of techniques to reinforce brand qualities and specific messaging. Neurological studies prove that mail primes other media. With Money Mailer’s integrated marketing approach, businesses can connect with consumers through the mail, our mobile app, social media and on the web.
In an age where digital communication has become second nature, direct mail not only persists, it is starting to generate genuine excitement again.