Direct Mail: Return To The Future

Integrated direct marketing has been a buzzword for many years and hotly debated. However, one thing remains clear: it’s not a fad.

Having said that, direct mail is still an integral part of a 21st-century integrated marketing campaign. In fact, for many decades, it was the only way to reliably reach prospects at their residences and was used extensively because it was so efficient.

Perhaps it was used too extensively because over the decades consumers became increasingly turned off by all of the “junk mail.” (Except when they found a coupon to their favorite restaurant, of course!) For that reason, some direct mail clients became disenchanted with the medium, even though it still retained a great degree of effectiveness.

However, in a “return to the future” development, physical direct mail is making a comeback in the minds of both marketers and clients. You see, in today’s digital age, prospects are bombarded with email, web banners, mobile ads, texts, TV and radio spots all day long. Studies have found that people have moved past their prior disdain to direct mail and are responding again to receiving a piece of physical mail.

Indeed, studies have shown that 85% of prospects pick through and read chosen direct mail pieces every day. 75% of consumers say they are looking at their mail more seriously during the past year to hunt for coupons and other offers. 40% of consumers report they have visited a new business after getting a direct mail piece, and 70% have re-established relationships with businesses they had previously stopped patronizing.

While customers might be receiving less USPS direct mail, they’re receiving more accurate direct mail — offers that have appeal and value for them individually. That’s because direct mail marketers are getting choosier about what they mail and who they target with it. And that’s why direct mail is making a comeback in the arsenal of integrated direct marketing mix.

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