“It also generates more response than digital efforts like email, social, and paid search (nearly 10 times).”
You’ve seen the headlines about print being “dead” or “ineffective,” but what you don’t see is the segment inside print advertising that continues to succeed despite the constant changes: Direct mail.
Yes, old-school direct mail delivers high responses rates and return on investment across the board. Study after study show this to be evident, yet the “failing print” narrative continues to get pushed.
According to an article by Rebecca Brooks, a columnist for the Media Post, research shows that direct mail not only delivers but also generates more responses than other media.
“Our research with PebblePost,a digital-to-direct-mail marketing platform, found that one traditional informational source that defies this trend categorically is direct mail, which maintains significant advantages over other traditional sources of information,” she said. “It also generates more response than digital efforts like email, social, and paid search (nearly 10 times).”
And survey and report information from the Data and Marketing Association confirms this.
“According to the 2018 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail response rates come in at 9% to a house list and 5% to a prospect list,” said Debora Haskel in an article for IWCO Direct. “It also runs laps around any other channel, even if you combined the response rates of all of them.”
So what accounts for the boom in direct mail response rates?
“Because it is delivered directly to the home, and high consideration purchase research is done at home (and everyone is AT home right now), it dovetails well with other source consumption habits for higher value purchases,” Brooks said. “In fact, our research found that direct mail is influencing 31% of purchases, is a top-three source on 10% of purchases, and is driving high value decisions, including influencing a whopping $14 trillion in discretionary purchases.”
In her piece, Haskel listed three likely factors that contribute to direct mail’s continued success.
“Marketers are becoming smarter about sending mail to people who appreciate receiving it. Better data and sophisticated modeling is allowing marketers to send more tailored offers. An increased use of digital production inkjet equipment can produce more targeted offers at higher mail volumes.”
She continues by adding that as marketers want to know what’s on the horizon in terms of marketing trends, “what they really need to know is what works.”
“The tremendous success and use of direct mail was part of the reason why so many of us in the industry pressed the DMA to form the new Council for Print in the Digital Age after it seemed to ignore the role of print in recent years” Haskel said. “As the 2018 DMA Response Rate Report clearly shows, direct mail is extremely powerful for generating a response to your offer.”
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