Email…Blogs…LinkedIn…Facebook…Twitter… Etc. It seems like all you ever hear about these days is electronic marketing channels, especially social media. But what about direct mail? Does old-fashioned “snail mail” still work?
The answer is yes, direct mail is still alive and well as an effective part of the marketing mix. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Less competition – Think about it. These days, it’s your email inbox that’s overflowing, while your physical mailbox is relatively empty. A well-crafted direct mail piece is likely to get noticed.
- High delivery rates – If you keep your list current (a postal requirement anyway), nearly all of your direct mail will be delivered. This is certainly not the case with email.
- High readership rates – Studies show that 80% of consumers will at least scan the direct mail they receive. These same people are likely to review their email inboxes with their finger on the “delete” button, and may not notice your social media post at all.
- Tangible experience – There’s just something about the experience of holding a direct mail piece in your hands that can’t be replicated in the online world. Perhaps this is why so many people enjoy going out to their mailbox, seeing what’s there, and taking a moment to open the mail.
- Personalization possibilities – With today’s technology, every aspect of your direct mail piece can be personalized, from the images to the text.
- Myriad formatting options – The format options in electronic media tend to be somewhat limited. Direct mail offers a dizzying array of possibilities, from postcards and envelopes of all sizes and colors to boxes and mailing tubes.
- Ability to send samples – People love getting free gifts in the mail. Getting a free sample or promotional item is a tangible experience; receiving a free download is not.
Plus, on top of all of the above, direct mail has been shown to be an effective driver of online traffic. People see your ad or letter or catalog or whatever, and then go online to learn more or place an order. It’s no wonder so many of the top direct marketers in the country – sophisticated organizations that put a lot of effort into testing programs and tracking results – continue to spend millions of dollars each year on direct mail. Direct mail still works.