As so much of the world turns to digital, why is it that direct mail still works so well?
According to Money Mailer CEO John Patinella, direct mail is effective because “giving, receiving and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience.”
We’ve talked about the importance of the tangible before; there are real psychological reasons why we value the physical more than digital. Perhaps because of this human preference, direct mail delivers the results, too.
As Steve Olenski writes in Forbes, “ U.S. advertisers spend $167 per person on direct mail to earn $2,095 worth of goods sold. That’s a 1,300% return on their investment. The response rate to direct mail pieces is much higher at 3.7% compared to 2% for mobile, 1% for email, 1% for social media, and 0.2% for internet display.”
Advertisers aren’t stupid. And marketers are under increasing pressure to prove their worth. They are realizing that even in this digital-heavy age, consumers like print marketing like coupons, for example.
“In fact, according to a recent study, 93% of people said they’ll use coupons from the mail in 2018,” Olenski writes. “This is up five percentage points compared to 88% in 2017. Although consumers rely on their smartphones, there is still a pleasant ‘tactile experience’ from touching and using physical coupons.”
It’s not just coupons; millennial consumers reportedly prefer receiving direct mail over email marketing. All the cool kids are doing it. Of course, they are the ultimate omnichannel consumer, so a hybrid strategy that transitions the reader from printed direct mail to an online interaction can be powerful.
As Olenski notes, it’s important to maximize the power of your direct mail.
“Use logos, visuals, charts, and targeted content to make direct mail a leisure activity,” he suggests. “It may be beneficial to use a geo-location strategy to encourage a call to action to visit a local storefront. Lastly, research the demographics in your area to align your messaging and visuals with your audience’s preferences and interests.”
Rethink your own marketing tactics and take an honest look at where direct mail might make a big impact. So here’s to our old and still very powerful friend, traditional printed direct mail.