The death of direct mail may be exaggerated. Technology continues to make certain things in the business world obsolete. One tool that has been used effectively by marketers for decades is direct mail. Over last few years, there have been repeated rumblings that direct mail has been replaced by digital ads and email. However, this is not the case according to many experts. In fact, direct mail might even yield better results than other B2B marketing channels.
“…In its response rate report, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA)…found that direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate, compared to 0.12% for email,” according to a Forbes article.
Here is some other data according to the DMA analysis:
- Direct mail has a response rate of up to 10 to 30 times that of email — and even higher when compared to online display
- Display ads converted only 6% as a result of the immediate “click”
6 reasons why direct mail provides strong return on investment (ROI):
1. B2B Direct mail marketing cuts through the clutter.
Some experts believe that direct mail may actually be a better way to cut through the advertising clutter.
“Consumers, overwhelmed by inboxes cluttered with unsolicited marketing emails, are more receptive to direct mail, which arrives on a much less-cluttered channel,” according to Forbes Magazine.
2. Direct mail is tangible and solid.
We live in a world where so much is accomplished via a screen of some kind, from online shopping to texting and a barrage of emails, direct messages, and pinging announcements. It’s easy to get in the habit of ignoring this barrage of cyber messages. Mail and packages are things you can hold; they have weight and substance.
In fact, there is an emotional component attached to an object you can touch and feel.
“60% said this effect made a more lasting mental impression on them, making it easier to recall later on. 57% of respondents said that postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship,” according to Forbes.
3. Direct mail leads to action.
Have you ever read an email on a computer screen and then promptly forgotten the contents a moment later? It’s not just you. A report by the U.S. Post Office tracked eye-movement and biometric measures when B2B subjects read both digital and direct mail marketing. The results showed that the participants who read physical ads had a more positive response toward the promoted item.
4. People still like to receive mail.
Don’t we all get a little thrill when we go to the mailbox and find it’s full? According to a Gallup Poll, you’re not alone.
“In a world of email, texts and social media, 41% of Americans look forward to checking what is in their mailbox each day. Americans 65 and older are more likely than younger adults to enjoy checking the mail, but 36% of Americans under 30 also feel this way.”
The last group includes the all-important Millennials. It’s easy to assume this generation – which was raised in the era of smartphones – would reject something as “traditional” as mail, but that’s not precisely true. “95% of 18-29 year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters,” according to Forbes.
5. Direct mail helps build brand awareness.
You shouldn’t ignore social media and digital advertising as a way to build your brand, but neither do you have to abandon traditional marketing methods like direct mail. In fact, direct mail can be a great compliment to a campaign.
“There is less direct mail going out than ever before and with nearly 80% of consumers saying they will open all their postal mail (including the so-called ‘junk mail’) you can be almost certain that your message will end up with the right eyes on it and less competition with it,” according to a Huffington Post article.
6. Direct mail will always be “low tech”.
It’s important to remember that not everyone embraces technology. A fairly high percentage of adults over age 65 (around 41%) still do not use the Internet at all, which is a vital reason to consider direct mail vs email marketing.
According to Huffington Post, “For marketers, that’s a huge segment that cannot be targeted using PPC, email or social media. Direct mail allows you to keep your offers open to all audiences rather than just the majority who fit your online strategy.”
As the numbers show, B2B direct mail marketing is definitely not dead. In fact, finding unique ways to connect with prospects can lead to better engagement, as you surprise them with something tangible.