Direct Mail

The 5 Biggest Myths About Direct Mail

Direct mail has been showing up in mailboxes for so long that everyone has an opinion about it. Even you. But how do your opinions on this staple of marketing strategies stack up to the truth? Look no further, because we’ve gathered the biggest myths about direct mail marketing along with the research to test these myths against reality:

Myth #1:  Direct mail marketing doesn’t work anymore.

Reality Check: While it’s true there has been a slight drop in the success rate of direct mail marketing over the past 10 years, the response rate generated by direct mail is still up to 9 times better than e-mail marketing.

This means for every one person that responds to an email in some way, (by contacting the company, making a purchase, or talking to a friend about the product,) 9 people will respond after receiving a piece of direct mail.

In fact, direct mail has the highest response rate of any direct-marketing medium, and it has also influenced more consumers to make a purchase than any other medium.

Myth #2: People don’t want direct mail.

Reality Check: Actually, the opposite is true. Screens, and the ads on them, are so prevalent in our lives today that direct mail acts as a welcome change. A recent study showed that more than 64 percent of employed U.S. adults say they find printed materials easier and more comfortable to read than anything on a computer screen.

Myth #3: People just toss direct mail in the trash today.

Reality Check: In fact, up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails.

While it’s true that people will toss any mail that doesn’t appeal to them, they’ll delete a spammy email as well. To combat your customers’ impulse to head straight to the recycling bin, make your direct mail appealing to your target audience. When a GAP Research study asked, “What makes you open and read direct mail?” this is what consumers said:

  • It’s from a brand or company I know (55%)
  • It’s personally addressed to me (51%)
  • I’m interested in the product or service (50%)
  • I can clearly see it contains a free sample/voucher (39%)
  • It pertains to local services or events (27%)
  • It involves a competition (21%)
  • It’s delivered in interesting packaging (15%)
  • It looks fun and/or humorous (10%)
  • I like the design (6%)
  • It’s delivered in an attractive envelope (6%)
  • I like the color of the mailing (3%)
  • Other (12%)

Myth #4: I’m having success with email marketing, so I don’t need direct mail.

Reality Check: Research has consistently shown that direct mail outperforms email marketing, with a recent study showing that direct mail campaigns generate purchases five times larger than email campaigns. However, good news for all the email marketing fans – the easiest way to improve the performance of your email marketing is to use direct mail in conjunction with it. This led to even better results – purchases were six times larger than with email alone.

Myth #5: Direct mail is outdated and can’t be integrated with technology.

Reality Check: This may surprise you, but sending out a direct mail campaign can be as easy as clicking a button. Marketing automation has changed the world of direct mail in a big way. Just set up your campaign and automate the rest.

The Real Deal: Online, social media, and email marketing all have their place in an integrated, cohesive marketing program. However, if you ignore direct mail and buy into the myths about it, you’ll leave a lot of money on the table. Xpressdocs has over 20 years of experience in providing direct mail marketing services to our customers all through a customizable platform. Reach out to us and let us help you craft a marketing strategy that implements direct mail and digital options in the perfect mix for your brand.


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