April 13, 2021   |   Vol. 20   |   Issue 4
Scott Seril, MGI Senior Account Director

Is Direct Mail Dead?

OK, let’s admit it, we’ve all been hearing and reading about the death of direct mail for years now…so does direct mail still work?

That’s a fair question. With the internet at our fingertips 24/7/365, you might wonder if direct mail even has a place in marketing anymore now that Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google seem to be everywhere.

But here’s the truth: Direct Mail is far from dead!

According to the USPS, total mail volume has declined 29.85% since 2006. But just because the number of mailed pieces is down doesn’t mean direct mail marketing is in decline. The fact that there are fewer pieces in mailboxes is actually a good thing for marketers. Less clutter means there’s more opportunity and less competition for attention. When fewer marketers are sending mail, you have a higher chance of standing out with a well-crafted campaign.

Why Direct Mail Still Works

Direct mail marketing remains one of the most cost-effective marketing techniques. Even with climbing postal rates, direct mail still results in one of the highest ROI’s when compared with most other marketing channels. Direct mail is actually getting MORE response from consumers than any other marketing method–including online ads and email–even though it may seem like an antiquated form of marketing whose time has passed.

People look forward to getting mail each day. That means they don’t throw away mail without at least glancing at it first. Compare that to email marketing. Most people receive dozens of emails each day, many of which they don’t open and delete without a second thought.

Direct mail is a tangible message in your audiences’ hands. It’s a newsletter they save and put on the coffee table to read later or a renewal notice they can come back to when they have time. Even if your mailer ultimately ends up in the trash, the recipient at least had to look at it and was reminded of your association’s mission, making you top of mind at least for a brief moment. Direct mail is an interactive form of communication that customers can touch, feel, and experience. That’s something digital marketing cannot claim.

Direct Mail Is Alive and Well!

The ease of digital marketing and the popularity of social media mean that marketers may be overlooking direct mail as a viable marketing tactic. Although it may be tempting to focus solely on online marketing, it’s clear that tried-and-true channels like direct mail can pay off in ways that digital alone cannot.

Direct mail continues to be one of the best ways to get your marketing message in front of prospects. It offers response rates that are far superior to even the most successful online advertising, and you don’t have to compete for precious attention in the online world. Plus, direct mail boosts the effectiveness of your other marketing channels and offers extensive personalization options to better connect with your prospects and customers.

If you want more information on developing or restarting your direct mail program, or need help assessing what channels and messaging will prove most effective right now, reach out to Scott Seril, Senior Account Director at sseril@marketinggeneral.com or 703-706-0316.

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