Why Direct Mail is Still the Way to Market

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As technology is constantly adapting and marketing is changing along with it, salespeople and business owners are rushing to try to get ahead of it and stand out.  The problem is, all salespeople and business owners are trying to jump into the new technology to do just that.  If you’re not the very first to ever do it, chances are, you’re not standing out quite as much as you’d hoped.

As businesses jump to try to get into the newest technology, older methods like direct mail may get pushed to the wayside as it’s assumed that it’s an outdated method that’s no longer effective.

However, the opposite is true.  According to the Direct Marketing Association, direct mail gets a 5.3% response rate from the house and 2.9% from the prospect themselves, whereas email is only 0.6% from household and 0.3% from the prospect.

Direct mail is hot, hot, hot, and here’s why.

  1. A high ROI makes direct mail beneficial. With a median ROI of 29%, you’re getting a good amount of sales per dollar spent on producing and sending direct mail, with only email and social media ahead of it.
  2. You can target your audience in a way that’s similar to social media. Using tools available from USPS, a business can send direct mail to customers in different areas.  Although you can’t get exact demographics or interests like you can on social media, depending on your business, you can hit the right areas for your target audience pretty well.
  3. It’s not oversaturated. Sure, people get spam mail and coupons they’ll never use all the time.  But think about how many emails people get every single day.  Seriously, I opened my email this morning on my personal account and had 65 emails, all BUT ONE of which were spam or marketing emails from companies I haven’t patronized in months or even years.  Trying to get people to open every single email is not practical, and it’s very difficult to compete with all the other companies also sending marketing or sales emails to your prospects.  The benefit with direct mail is that, if you do it right, you’re able to stand out because not everyone else is doing it anymore, so people pay a different level of attention to it.
  4. It’s special. Just like people used to love getting the “You’ve got mail” sound on their computer when email first became a widespread mode of communication, they love getting fun pieces of mail in their mailboxes now.  Think of how much junk mail they get—in their inboxes and their mailboxes—so if you write a handwritten letter, sign it yourself, or even just send a fun piece of marketing mail that will make them feel special (and maybe even a good coupon they can use), you’ll stand out and maybe even make them happy they opened your letter.
  5. It’s tangible. When someone gets a coupon, they usually take it and put in aside in a drawer or on the fridge to use later.  And then they forget about it.  Sounds bad, right?  It may be, except there’s one night when their wife wants takeout, and they remember that they saved this coupon and run into the kitchen to save 20% off the takeout they’re getting anyway.  This draws them to order from you instead of someone else, and it’s tangible, so it’s super easy for them to remember they have it.  Chances are, if you send the same coupon via email, they either never open the email in the first place because they didn’t want your hamburgers at 9am on a Monday when they opened your email, or they open it, forget they ever opened it, and never go back to it because they have no idea where it ended up in the ether.

No matter how you decide to go about direct mail, make sure you get creative and make pieces of mail that will stand out.  Having the right postcard, coupon, and even envelope created, you draw in their eyes, get their undivided attention, and hopefully get yourself a customer in the process.

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