As a marketing executive, you might be asking yourself: “Are direct mailers effective?” After all, according to the history of direct mail, it’s a marketing medium that’s been around since 1835. Wouldn’t that make it—outdated? Well, direct mail has made a resurgence from its glory days and it’s once again a thriving, surging marketing channel. So yes, direct mailers ARE effective and your brand should include a healthy dose as part of your marketing strategy. But don’t take our word for it. You can see the direct mail marketing results for yourself. Here are 10 proof-packed reasons why they work.


1. Are Direct Mailers Effective? The Results Speak for Themselves


are direct mailers effectiveWould you follow other brands that have used direct mail as part of their marketing strategies? You would if they were successful, right? Direct mail is a $44-billion industry and it’s growing rapidly each year. Direct mail marketing statistics show that the USPS delivers around 80-billion pieces of direct mail each year. It’s not always wise to follow the pack, so to speak, but in this case, we encourage it. Direct mail makes up almost 20% of modern-day marketing budgets. U.S. marketers spend approximately $167 per person on direct mail.


The clincher is the return: they’re earning an average of $2,095 for each customer. If you haven’t included direct mail as part of your marketing strategy, now is the time to get started.


2. Direct Mailers Receive High Response Rates


Direct mail industry statistics show that response rates have been steadily rising for the past 10 years. The numbers: 9% for house lists and about 5% for prospect lists. That’s far better than any other marketing channel. By comparison, paid search is the next closest competitor at 0.6% and social media at 0.4%. Where does email marketing rank? Not surprisingly, email offers about a 0.1% response rate. So that makes direct mail the best choice for getting the feedback you desire with your marketing campaigns. The Wall Street Journal has the direct mail marketing results. It’s a channel that gets 37% more responses. When you’re looking to make the biggest splash with your marketing dollars, direct mail is a wise investment.


Want to know how to get the best response rates for direct mail? (Check out our post.)


3. Only Email Has a Higher ROI Than Direct Mailers


direct mail marketing resultsOK, here’s the proof: return on investment. Statistics show that for every $167 marketers spend on direct mail, they’ll make $2,095 in sales. That means their ROI is a whopping 1,300%. Of course, your numbers will vary based on a variety of factors (like how much you’re spending to make your campaigns amazing), but there’s no denying the results. And like response rates, it helps to compare direct mail with other marketing channels so you can get a picture of its effectiveness. In this case, email offers a better return, but how could it not? There are virtually no expenses.


Consumers are far more tired of email, though—something known as email fatigue. Studies show that roughly 75% of people feel overwhelmed by the number of messages they receive in their inboxes. Marketers have to rely on catchy subject lines and personalization to have any chance of getting their message opened, let alone read.


Tip: The USPS offers a handy ROI marketing impact calculator. We’re here to help you with every aspect of your direct mail campaigns. In fact, we have our own in-house mailing center staffed with experts in all phases of postal regulations and logistics. Let’s find your brand’s perfect strategy. Contact us to talk about your marketing goals. We’ll help you find the direct mail marketing results you’re looking for.


4. People Love Getting Mail


We learned that consumers have grown tired of receiving emails. They’re suffering from email fatigue because they’re used to receiving a ton of messages on their electronic devices. The average office employee receives over 120 emails each day. They barely take the time to see who they’re from or what they’re about. For consumers, it’s a quick scroll—so as a brand, you’d better have your headlines and personalizations on point. Direct mail is different. It’s tactile, so it provides a marketing advantage. Consumers like to touch things, so direct mail provides an important connection between brand and audience.


Millennials Like Direct Mailers, Too


You may be surprised to learn that even digital-loving millennials love receiving mail. They may have grown up with an electronic device in their hands, but they can appreciate a piece of well-designed, well-intentioned print marketing. In fact, direct mail marketing results show that 30% respond to direct mail while only 24% respond to emails. A Gallup poll revealed that almost all millennials love receiving print marketing mail. Plus, they respond faster than any other age group. More than 60% buy the product or service advertised within three months. If Gen Y is one of your targets, direct mail is a great way to address their needs and solve their problems.


5. People Sort Through Their Mail Immediately


direct mail marketing resultsStudies show that consumers don’t waste any time looking through their daily print mail. Whether it’s a walk to the end of a driveway or a drive to a PO Box, when people reach for their stack of letters and packages, they want to know what’s in there. According to direct mail marketing statistics, almost 80% of people rummage through their mail as soon as they get it. And if there’s a box or large envelope in there, it’s almost a sure thing that mail gets opened. No other marketing channel gives brands this same type of direct-to-consumer method.


When you “do” direct mail right, you’ll find success with your marketing strategy like the top direct mail campaigns.


6. Direct Mailers Are Less Annoying Than Digital


“Surfing” the web for information isn’t what it used to be. Oftentimes our efforts to retrieve information are hindered by an array of distractions. Pop-ups are telling us to do this or that based on our actions. Embedded ads make it difficult to piece together a story as we scroll down a page. We’re just trying to find the answers to our problems. We don’t need more problems, right? That’s why 26% of internet users install ad blockers. They’re tired of the hassle. It’s also why print marketing is “less annoying” than digital marketing—43% less, in fact. We talked about how people enjoy receiving mail and the USPS confirms it. Consumers typically like getting a postcard, retail catalog, or personalized thank-you note in their mailboxes. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) found that more than half of U.S. consumers consider it a true pleasure to receive mail.


7. Direct Mailers Play Well with Digital Marketing


multichannel marketingWe learned that direct mailers are less annoying than digital marketing. But that doesn’t mean you need to scrap digital marketing altogether. In fact, a well-rounded marketing strategy features print and digital together. The direct mail vs. digital marketing debate shouldn’t even exist. The best strategy is to use both, in unison, as the ultimate multichannel marketing mix. If a consumer receives direct mail from you and you include a digital call to action, like a URL or QR code to complete the CTA, they’ll spend 3x more than other customers.


That should be incentive enough to take a multichannel approach when you’re considering your marketing channels. If you add a digital component to your direct mail strategy, you’ll have more successful marketing campaigns.


8. Direct Mailers Work in Any Industry


You’re probably asking yourself: Are direct mailers effective in my industry? The answer is clear. Direct mail is a great marketing channel for any industry, but there’s one, in particular, that’s had the most success using it. Financial services companies rely on direct mail to produce great results. This features insurance businesses ($5.8 billion), credit card companies ($5 billion), mortgage and loan offices ($4.8 billion), bank branches ($1.3 billion), and investment brands ($208 million). You might say the financial services industry is an ideal fit for direct mail because it provides measurable results. The biggest financial institutions send out millions upon millions of direct mailers each year. Marketers in this industry know the numbers they need to reach to accomplish their objectives for a campaign. Direct mail provides the information they need.


Want to know how to use direct mail marketing effectively? Read this post.


9. Direct Mailers Get People to Take Action


direct mail ctaAn email is a great way to get consumers to visit your brand’s website. You’ll need to get their attention with a catchy subject line and some personalization, but if you get them to open your email, the desired action is a click away. That’s pretty convenient. But you’re probably wondering if you can apply this quick response concept to print marketing? Are direct mailers effective for getting people to take action? The answer is a resounding yes. Direct mailers, especially catalogs, help brands drive traffic to their websites.


Studies show that more than 60% of direct mail recipients performed the requested action, like visiting a website. A printed catalog also makes consumers more receptive to online buying—as opposed to a different consumer who didn’t receive a direct mailer. The USPS likens direct mail catalogs to window shopping because catalog recipients bought almost 30% more merchandise. Plus, brand websites that also sent out direct mail catalogs saw a revenue increase of more than 160%. If you want to get people to take action, use direct mail.


10. Direct Mailers Increase Donations for Nonprofits


If direct mailers get people to take action, it only makes sense that they increase donations for nonprofit organizations, too. Think about the mail you’ve received from non-profits. It could be from a local homeless shelter or children’s charity. After you get past the heart-wrenching message (provided they hired a good copywriter), and you have your wallet out, what’s one thought that immediately runs through your mind? You want to know if you can trust them to use the money as they say they will. Is this charity for real? What’s their reputation?


This is where direct mail shines. Approximately 56% of consumers trust direct mail more than any other marketing channel. Plus, it’s very targeted, cost-effective, and trackable. As a result, nonprofits increased their donations by as much as 40%. Are direct mailers effective for nonprofits? Indeed they are. Simply put, they’re a no-brainer as part of your overall marketing strategy.


Are Direct Mailers Effective? Here’s How a Proven Direct Mail Partner Makes it Happen


Direct mailers are an effective way to get your brand’s marketing messages to your target audiences. It’s more costly than digital marketing, but it also produces better results—especially when you trust your campaigns to an experienced direct mail provider. Partner with a knowledgeable industry expert to produce campaigns that offer the direct mail marketing results you’re looking for. That’s MSP. Contact us to discuss your brand’s goals and get a free consultation.

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