Is Direct Mail Marketing Still Useful in the Digital Age? (Hint Yes!)

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With the number of headlines devoted to digital marketing, and email marketing in particular, you would assume that the traditional direct mail and door drop marketing provides no value these days. You may be led to believe that businesses of all types have stopped using direct marketing and moved exclusively to digital era. Nothing could be further from truth! While there is a shift to email marketing in recent times, traditional direct marketing is alive and well, albeit with reduced volume. Let me provide some data to back up that claim and show why businesses still prefer to use direct marketing.

Royal Mail estimated that there were 19.7 billion letters sent in 2005. Of those, 6.17 billion were related to direct marketing – the letters and mailers sent by businesses. By 2013 the total number of letters had fallen to 13.8 billion out of which 4.4 billion were direct mail. Forecast for total number of letters and direct mail is continued reduction in volume.

Even with this reduced number the volume of mail that individuals receive is pretty significant when you combine the direct mail with the door drop marketing – promotional materials sent directly to individuals at their door step from marketing distribution networks.

Now compare this to the amount of emails that individuals receive on a daily basis. It is estimated that there were 205 million emails sent per day in 2016 with marketing emails accounting for 56.5% of those. That means there were 115 billion marketing emails sent every day. An average person receives 121 marketing emails every day. I don’t about you, but my guess is almost of all them are going straight to waste basket. Who has time to look at those emails on a daily basis?

Which leads me to my second concern with email marketing. According to CMO council 56% people open their direct mail sent through traditional means compared to 22.9% marketing emails. As you can see more people are inclined to open the direct mail sent through traditional means than via email. The response rate for direct mail was estimated at 3.4% versus just 0.12% for email. Simply put, more people read and respond to direct mail than to the emails.

So the truth behind the scary headlines about the death of direct marketing is pretty clear. With the amount of emails being sent, and ignored, by individuals, direct marketing will remain a critical part of business’ marketing strategy for the foreseeable future. Offering higher open rate, higher response rate as well as recall rates than email, a well-planned direct mail or door drop campaign can provide better return on investment for businesses of all types and sizes.

Don’t contribute to ‘email overload’ – opt for a better marketing campaign with memorable door drop solutions.