Why Is Direct Mail A Powerful Marketing Channel?

Mike Gunderson
Why Is Direct Mail A Powerful Marketing Channel?

The 4 reasons direct mail is a powerful channel that you’ll take away from this article:

  • It’s deemed safer
  • Higher brand recall
  • Higher response rate
  • Boosts web traffic

4 Proven And Compelling Reasons To Add Direct Mail To Your Marketing Mix

So, you’re devising your marketing strategy for the coming year, and you’ve got a solid integrated digital marketing approach in the works. Good for you! Digital marketing is critical to any well-rounded strategy. Now, have you incorporated any direct mail campaigns into the mix? No? Ok, we need to talk.

Despite research that tells us direct mail is far from obsolete, companies are still making arguments against it due to misconceptions surrounding inefficiencies and high costs. In reality, though, direct mail is more than just a viable option, it is actually one of the most effective marketing tactics today.

Here are just a few reasons why direct mail is a powerful marketing channel:

1. It’s deemed safer

Spam makes up 45% of all email sent, and people are unsubscribing — or just registering senders as spammers — more quickly than ever. Not only do consumers feel pestered by the overwhelming number of marketing or “spammy” emails in their inboxes, they also view them as unsafe. You never know when an unassuming advertisement is going to be an attack on your computer or personal information.

Direct mail, on the other hand, is incapable of launching a digital attack, and, therefore, recipients view it as a safer mode of marketing. Brands that send physical mailers from a real company at a real address are viewed as more trustworthy and authentic than those that rely purely on email as a marketing channel.

2. Higher brand recall

Direct mail incites higher levels of brand recall for a few reasons:

  • Distraction-free: When compared to email and digital marketing, direct mail provides more of a distraction-free experience. There are no incoming emails to contend with or banner ads popping up, which makes it more likely that you’ll capture your recipients’ undivided attention and increase the likelihood of brand recall.
  • Emotional connection: Direct mail is tactile and provides a sensory
    experience for your recipients. Sensory experiences lead to emotional
    connections, and once an emotional connection is established, higher levels of trust and brand recognition are built.
  • Easy for us to process: It takes 21% less cognitive effort for our brains to process direct mail than it does to process email, which also creates significantly higher levels of brand recall

3. High response rate

Direct mail boasts impressive response rates, and for a good reason. Let’s do an exercise — close your eyes and envision your email inbox. What does it look like? Chances are, you’re seeing a lot of unread, unsolicited emails filling up your screen. Direct mail is delivered through a much less crowded channel, recipients are much happier to receive it, thus making it more likely that your mail will get read and acted upon. According to the 2018 ANA/DMA Response Rate Report (ANA membership required to view), the direct mail response rate was 4.9% for prospect lists and a whopping 9% for house lists.

4. Boosts web traffic

Direct mail is one of the best ways to boost traffic to your website. Research suggests that 34% of people who receive direct mail from companies they trust do go online to learn more about the offer, and 44% of recipients visit that company’s website directly.

Here are a few tips for boosting web traffic with direct mail:

  • Include a simple URL for your website or landing page: Make sure that the URL provided is as short as possible, that it makes sense, and that it is easy to read on your direct mail piece. If you need help shortening your URL for direct mail, you can use a free URL shortening tool.
  • Make it personal: Personalizing the copy on your mailer, and using personalized URLs (pURL), are a great way to drive traffic to your site or landing page. You can also personalize the landing page itself for an added touch.
  • Limited-time offer: Create a sense of urgency by giving your recipients a limited amount of time to go to your website and redeem their offer.
  • Strong call-to-action: Be clear and direct with what you want recipients to do after receiving your mailer.

As you can see, there are proven and compelling reasons to add direct mail into your marketing mix. Not only will it strengthen your overall strategy, but it will provide results that digital marketing efforts alone can’t deliver. Have questions about adding direct mail to your marketing mix? Drop us a line.

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Mike Gunderson

Mike is the founder and president of Gundir, the award-winning direct marketing agency. Since 2003, Gundir has helped businesses drive new leads and close more sales through traditional offline channels, especially direct mail.

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