Direct Mail Marketing

In the current age of all things digital, doesn’t direct mail just seems old and boring?

I would bet that most business owners under the age of 35 probably have never even considered running a direct mail marketing campaign for their business. There’s no denying that the business world (and our world in general) has been dramatically moving toward the quicker, more efficient, more economical, and much more environmentally friendly realm of electronic communication. But what about mailing someone something tangible? Why have we dismissed this method of marketing when it actually works!

I had the chance to speak with our Regional Vice President, Rob Miller, to discuss this topic even further. Rob has seen firsthand the effect that direct mail has had and completely redirected my thoughts as a Marketing Director.  The thing is, because everything is seen through a screen these days, there are not many advertisements we can feel and hold in our hands. Some people may not care about having a piece of tactile content, but there are many who still very much appreciate this type of communication.

In our world today, we are broken up between different generations: Generation Y’s, Millennial, Gen X, Baby Boomer, and the Traditionalist. Because our society consists of different generations of people, we can’t just assume that one method of marketing can reach all 5.  For Generation Y’s and Millennials, digital messaging is probably your best bet, but the Gen Xs, Baby Boomers and Traditionalists may still appreciate direct mail and having something physical to see, feel, and touch.

There really is no “one size fits all” in marketing so it’s important to keep our minds open and not give up on an option, especially when the data proves its incredible effectiveness. Many marketers may be in shock, but the data is undeniable. Direct mail is still effective and using it is a game changer for any serious marketer. Not only is it a game changer but it still proves to give the best ROI of all marketing channels.

The DMA (Direct Mail Association) found that direct mails response rates are actually anywhere from 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital. It notes that consumers, overwhelmed by inboxes cluttered with unsolicited marketing emails, are more receptive to direct mail which arrives on a much less-cluttered channel.

Every great marketing strategy uses multiple channels. Combining direct mail with savvy digital-marketing techniques increases the effectiveness of the message you’re sending and results in a greater response than just doing one or the other.  The biggest differentiator of these marketing channels is that direct mail has the strongest perceived value. The emotional effect is what’s at the foundation of direct mails’ effectiveness: 60% of 50,000 analyzed respondents by the (DMA) said getting something in their mailbox makes a more lasting mental impression on the recipient, making it easier to recall later on.  57% said that postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship. Even the most obvious junk mail in your mailbox has something that few marketing emails will ever possess: the reality factor. We’ve sent it and received it, opened it, saved it, and thrown it away for much of our lives. It has weight, substance and dimension. Mail is a part of our reality.

For me, being 34 and part of the Millennial generation, I can truly see both sides of the equation. I was told that the average American spends over 12 hours daily staring at a screen…. Tv’s, iPhones, Tablets, computers, and for goodness sake, people even read their books through a screen these days. So, to give your customers something beautiful, thought out, and personable that they can see, touch, and feel, will always add a needed and important element to any marketing strategy.

So, the takeaway from this blog is: the urban myth that “Direct Mail is Dead!” is just that, a myth! It’s alive and well.


-Summer Gilbert | Director of Marketing | Pacific Companies Inc.