Direct Mail is Back in a Big Way

Why direct mail marketing is returning, and how you can use it to your advantage

They say that everything old is new again, and that applies to marketing trends now more than ever. Direct mail is making a huge comeback after spending years looking outdated, out of touch and well, old. This shift in marketing strategy isn’t without good reason, but it may not be for all the reasons you think.

Direct Mail vs. Direct Mail

In the last 15 years, direct mail has largely fallen out of favor as a marketing tool. In fact, most physical mail has fallen out of favor due to the boom in digital communications, advertising and social media. The United States Postal Service (USPS) reports that since 2006 the number of parcels they handle has decreased by 33%, dropping from 213 billion units to 142.57 units in 2019.

So how does this help you? With less competition in people’s mailboxes, you’re much more likely to get your message to stick.

Email vs. Direct Mail

In a time when almost all communication, commercial or not, is digital, it’s hard to stand out in an inbox. The average office employee receives over 120 emails per day: just think about how many emails you delete without opening from companies you’ve never heard of.

Compared to their inbox, the average person’s mailbox only receives two pieces of physical mail per day. When your odds of standing out are 50/50 instead of 1 out of 120, it’s a whole lot easier to make an impression on your prospects.

Direct Mail vs. Digital 

In addition to email, the average consumer sees over 60 digital ads per day. With ad blockers essentially the default on computers these days, it’s critical that nothing stands in the way of your messaging.

While the average digital ad has a lifetime of only seconds, one report states that physical mail has a lifetime of up to 17 days. In addition, 54% of consumers report that they’ll discuss a piece of physical mail if they’ve already heard of a brand but never purchased from them. With over half of the recipients actively talking about your company over the course of 17 days, it’s a great opportunity to make an impression!

Getting Started

At this point, you might be wondering how you should get your own mailing campaign off the ground. Although the specifics will be different from business to business, there are some important points to remember.

It’s important to remember that direct mail should be used in conjunction with your other marketing campaigns, not in place of them. Supplementing digital and email marketing with physical mail can really drive home your value to potential customers. While you can always send something robust like a catalog or magazine, you can also send something as simple as a letter or a postcard. The important part here isn’t so much what you send, but the fact that you’re getting your messaging into the hands of potential customers.

With both recognition and the impact of a message you can hold on your side, you’ll start to see your marketing returns take on an entirely new dimension of growth.

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