In Defense of Conventional Direct Mail: Why Direct Mail Still Delivers

“I would have answered your letter sooner, but you did not send one.” -Goodman Ace

No doubt that the digital world has upended conventional direct mail. A letter, postcard, or a self-mailer has a hard time competing with the efficiency and quick deliverability that an email campaign provides.

But that is not the death of direct mail by a long shot.

What do successful marketers have in common? They all use targeted, relevant communications across all channels. To increase responses, we use an efficient combination of direct mail and email. As the whole marketing world embraces email delivery, this trend actually supports a renaissance in direct mail.

One of the most important direct mail marketing benefits is higher response rates through targeted advertising. Why? Getting something in the mail feels special, and with the right message, delivers effective marketing.

Consider this: Response rates for highly targeted direct mail marketing is 4.4% compared to 0.12% for email. And direct mail is far more successful at new customer acquisition. Personalization of direct mail goes far beyond the salutation. Customized content as well as customized “look and tone” help drive response and conversions.

3 things to keep in mind when incorporating direct mail into your marketing program:

  1. Unlike digital, a direct mail shows up on delivery and enters the hands of the person you are targeting…it is seen!
  2. Even if not opened, the outside print presents an opportunity to convey a brand, a message, and/or a promotion.
  3. It is a secure medium. Identity theft cannot happen through conventional direct mail, a growing concern in our email programs.

So, remember that when your target audience receives something in the mail, they will look at it, set it aside for later review, or throw it out. Even if they throw it out, direct mail still affords you an opportunity to convey a personalized message in as little as 3 seconds.

Making Most of Analytics

As much as the marketing world loves to divide online and off, there’s no doubt, when they work together, conversion rates benefit. Strengthen this partnership by using information from your analytics to improve your direct response mail:

  • Attention-grabbing subject line can help construct a powerful OE headline
  • Top keywords/search terms can direct letter content
  • The best content that encourages action
  • A strong call to action (CTA) that gets results

If your online includes testing, use the winner to help construct core components of your direct mail.

Including direct mail in your marketing plan does more than keep the Post Office busy, it increases response rates, enables you to reach a highly targeted audience, and brings a proven record of success.

In an age of web-based marketing, don’t forget the power of direct mail. It still delivers.

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