Can You Call It a Comeback Story if it Never Left?

We all love a good comback story, amirite?

While it has always been a staple of marketing campaigns, direct mail is making a comeback in 2023, and it continues to deliver the best response rate, conversion, and ROI of any marketing channel. So, it’s no surprise that, according to The Mail Shark, direct mail spend—at $38.5 billion—accounts for the largest portion of US local advertising spend.

Here are a few supporting statistics that make the argument for incorporating direct mail in your brand marketing.

  • Open rates for direct mail campaigns can be as high as 90%. (Inkit)
  • Direct mail marketing earns an average of $2,095 in revenue per person—a 1,300% return on investment.

(Small Business Trends)

Those statistics are enough to make us all notice, especially when you consider that direct mail is more than a trend. It’s here to stay for the foreseeable future: Industry leaders agree that direct mail’s long-time appeal is enjoying a bounce from digital fatigue. As many consumers are overwhelmed by the continuous scroll of digital content, direct mail offers the kind of tangible, real-life connection that people are craving.

These key benefits reinforce why direct mail should be part of your marketing mix:

1) It has mass appeal.

When the USPS studied how consumers across generations perceive and respond to mail, they found nine out of 10 consumers regularly engage with promotional mail: 96% of Boomers, 92% of Gen X, and 93% of Millennials read and open promotional mail.

So, whether you’re looking to convert prospects, connect with current customers, or reactivate those who have fallen off, direct mail is worth your attention. It’s a cost-effective B2B and B2C marketing tool that can help you amplify your brand message beyond a single-channel effort. Plus, it’s proven effective in reinforcing brand recognition, driving loyalty, and boosting online and offline sales.

The novelty of a tangible connection with brands they support has customers of all ages swooning. 54% of consumers say they want direct mail from brands that interest them. (Triadex Services)

2) It’s an effective trigger for your omnichannel strategy.

A recent Forbes article explains it like this: “The customer journey today is about how different channels work with each other. Direct mail and digital channels like email and social have touchpoints that can trigger each other and result in a desired action.

Which ones work best for delivering good ROI? There’s no single answer: It depends on your goals and budget, among other factors. But one thing is certain: Many consumers today are likely to expect your brand to be present in multiple channels.

A data-driven omnichannel strategy will help you decide how to fit direct mail into the right place. A printed piece is tactile, and you can use it to activate different touchpoints than you typically would in other channels. For example, consider using QR codes, personalized URLs (PURLS), promotional URLs, phone numbers, or prompts to schedule in-person visits.

The US Data Corporation found that 39% of consumers try a new business out for the first time because of receiving direct mail from them.

3) It’s personal.

Marketers know that trust is the foundation of brand loyalty. And an IAS study found that 77% of marketing professionals consider eroding consumer trust a major issue in social advertising today. By contrast, consumers trust tangible media and personalized content when making purchasing decisions, which reinforces the appeal and value of direct mail marketing.

When fueled by clean data, direct mail campaigns can be distilled and deployed at a granular level, zeroing in on detailed geographic, demographic, and behavioral data – and then feeding targeted content that resonates. In addition, personalizing direct mail—like targeting audiences with location-specific promotions or offering personalized product recommendations or upsells – can help brands build trust by providing relevant, timely content. The Mail Shark found that adding a name to your direct mail increases response rates by 135%.

4) It’s versatile.

From oversized postcards and letter-sized pieces to product samples and custom kits, the options for direct mail campaigns are seemingly endless. When you combine strong creative with compelling messaging, you’ve got a recipe for success. And direct mail response rates are driving conversions: Small Business Trends showed that 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail campaigns within the past three months also made purchases.

5) It’s cost-effective.

Because of the versatility of direct mail, campaigns can be scaled for every budget.

So isn’t it time you put YOUR brand in their hands with direct mail?
Credit: Author: Ellen Moriarty