The Power of Direct Mail Marketing

Say what you want, but direct mail remains to be the the true marketing channel hero. Direct Marketing gives businesses, especially retail businesses, the opportunity to “get physical” with their audience and connect on a more “human level” with the use of printed mail. Now, I’m not saying that Digital Marketing is a total bust, I’m all about speed and technology, but after reading these facts, I’m starting to think that direct marketing has some secret weapons. See for yourself:

  • Just 42% of marketers say they are able to measure social media ROI.[1]
  • Less than half (45%) feel like their Facebook efforts are working, though 52% choose it as their most important platform.[2]
  • Nearly one in four commercial emails in the U.S. land in a spam folder or go missing, with inbox placement falling from 87% in 2014 to 76% in 2015.[2]

Ad blocking tools, unpredictable pay-per-click costs and strict email filters are a few of the realities that marketers face when executing a digital email campaign, ultimately challenging their marketing efforts. But anyway, I won’t continue scaring you with the Digital Marketing ghost, instead, let’s get to the good stuff…

First things first: Mail gets noticed.

 Coming from personal experience, I have the tendency to check my mail box every single day once I get home. Aside from being nosey and wanting to see if my Amazon packages have arrived, checking for mail has been habitual ever since I can remember, and it seems like I’m not the only one. According to the Canada Post report, Breaking Through the Noise, consumers say they are more likely to notice and read direct mail (53%) than email (26%) because it’s more tangible, more visible, they receive way too many emails or simply prefer to read print.

If this isn’t proof enough, here are other findings that should cause my fellow marketers (both large and small) to take notice and consider using direct mail more often:

Direct mail surprises

Like mentioned before, checking the mail is a part of most people’s “coming home” routine while checking email is much less routine-oriented occurring throughout the day or not at all. Because of this, marketers can receive positive feedback when their audience checks their mailbox and receives a promotional ad.

Direct mail is persistent

 Physical, tangible mail has the affect of both immediate and impulsive purchases and is able to influence a purchasing decision quite fast. Direct mail also serves as a visible reminder throughout your audiences “purchase journey” until your audience is ready to make their decision on buying your product.

With direct mail, your audience is more likely to pass along flyers, promotional brochures or other special mail offers than they would with email. You may be surprised to know that the “personally shared” value of direct marketing beats that of digital channels: 32% people say they’ve passed along direct mail ads versus both email ads (26%) and social promotions (22%).[4]

Direct mail is simply persuasive

How many times have you gotten a coupon through the mail and thought, “I gotta take advantage of this asap!” well, you’d be surprised to know that one in two people say that they have purchased a product in-store over the past six months as a result of a direct mail ad[5] (I’ll be honest and go ahead and say I’m that one). Additionally, direct mail is an effective way to drive traffic to online properties such as websites or landing pages. Once again, tangible items cause more of an influence than any digital content. It’s actually quite simple: direct mail significantly outperforms digital when it comes to driving traffic to retail stores

In conclusion, whether it’s a pizza flyer on the refrigerator or a catalog on the coffee table, our personal habits at home keep mail present and visible. So if you think direct marketing is a thing from the past, think again my friend. By combining the targeting ability of direct mail with a visually engaging website page, your business, big or small, can achieve breakthrough results!


1, 2 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner

3 Deliverability Benchmark Report, Return Path, 2015  

4, 5 Direct Mail Omnibus, Canada Post/Harris Decima, 2014