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Aug 20, 2020

The State of Direct Mail in 2020

What’s a more effective marketing medium -- direct mail or social media marketing?

What gets more eyeballs on your brand -- a banner ad or a direct mail postcard?

You might be surprised to discover that both scenarios favor direct mail. In fact, direct mail has a higher response rate than virtually any digital marketing, clocking in exponentially higher than trendy marketing platforms like email and social media. While direct marketing isn’t exactly the newest and most cutting-edge medium, it’s certainly one that resonates with customers.

What’s so special about direct mail, though? Why embrace a decades-old platform in this era of technology and convenience? Why go offline when everyone else is going online? What’s the best way to reach customers through direct mail, and what benefits can you hope to receive through direct mail?

Let’s take a look at direct mail. We’ll look at where the medium is, why it works so well and how you can incorporate it into your existing marketing strategy.

Why Direct Mail?

In today’s digital-first world, direct mail might seem counter-intuitive. After all, there are electronic options out there that let marketers send out communications to the entire world, quickly and easily. 

There are two problems with this approach. The first is that the tastes of online consumers are changing. They don’t want the standard one-way advertisement that is so synonymous with marketing. People want to feel like they’re part of the brands they support, and increasingly, they’re not getting that feeling. Daily email blasts from companies, banner ads that display items someone looked at a week ago and ill-conceived attempts at predictive marketing have only served to alienate customers instead of engaging them. 

Digital marketing is a highly saturated space. Think about it -- digital advertising is everywhere. Everywhere you go, there’s an ad waiting for you -- and that’s even if you’ve got an ad blocker installed. Your email is full of pitches from companies that you’ve ordered from in the past. Your social media feed contains messages from brands that you follow. Websites have banner ads, and e-commerce websites are entirely sales-oriented. There’s no escape for consumers.

And that’s where good brands get hurt. Because people are so wary of advertising these days, they automatically tune these messages out. Consumers mindlessly skip ads before YouTube videos. They cancel their cable subscriptions so that they don’t have to see ads. They create email accounts specifically designated for email signups, enabling them to avoid the months-long deluge of emails that follows the coupon they actually want.

But physical mail? People actually look at that. Direct mail open rates are as high as 90 percent. Consumers check their physical mail every day. They hold the items they receive in their hand. They read each item carefully. The important items end up on the fridge, in a pocketbook or on a corkboard. These items are kept so that they can actually be used -- which is the entire point of marketing.

These direct mail pieces accomplish something most digital marketing messages fall far short of. They lead directly to sales. That’s what awaits your company if you adopt direct mail marketing.

The State of Direct Mail

Hold on a minute, you say. Direct mail is all well and good, but it’s expensive and it’s not guaranteed to work. My company uses a data-driven digital marketing strategy, and even if certain aspects of it aren’t as effective as direct mail, at least I’m sending messages to the people I want to market to.

This skepticism highlights perhaps the best part of modern direct mail. Contrary to the perception of some, direct mail in today’s world is much more than blasting the same expensive mailer to everyone on your list. In fact, you can incorporate much of the same data-driven marketing you already use into your direct mail strategy. This gives you the segmentation and analysis that makes digital marketing so convenient for businesses, only in a medium that cuts through the digital clutter and results in more sales. It’s a perfect solution in a world where digital fatigue is very real.

There’s a lot you can do to customize your direct mail offerings. It’s a wide spectrum, ranging from different mailers for different segments to individualized catalogs for each member of your mailing list. And if you’re so inclined, you can use the data from your digital marketing initiatives to build a wide range of individualized and segmented direct mail campaigns. But direct mail doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Your direct mail strategy can be as intricate or as simple as you’d like.

A popular tactic in modern times is a direct mail postcard. This gives the consumer some basic information and, in many cases, a money-saving offer that entices the recipient to save the postcard. The business may also choose to include a QR code that shoppers can use to access the company’s website. It’s a great way to communicate important information or offers without bogging down the customer with too many details.

Utilizing Direct Mail

The strategy you’ll use for your direct mail postcard depends on your industry and your goals. There’s no right or wrong answers here. As long as you’re receiving positive results in terms of response rate and customer engagement, you’re on the right track.

All of the options below are available right here on our website. Simply select an option, set your postcard size, upload an image. Your desired targets will have your postcards in no time.

Every Door Direct Mail

If you want to get the word out to as many people as possible, Every Door Direct Mail (or EDDM) works best. With EDDM, all you have to do is specify the address near where you’re trying to target, select the postal routes on our mapping tool (which uses the same verified data as the USPS EDDM website) and we’ll send a postcard to every address in the area.

Targeted Direct Mail

You may not necessarily want to send your postcard to every single person in a zip code. A more selective approach can help you to save money and increase marketing efficiency. Targeted Direct Mail lets you specify the exact demographics you’re looking for. Once you’ve entered this information, we’ll only send postcards to people that fit your specifications. For example, you can target people that just moved into a new house, women aged 40 or over, or any set of parameters you’d like.

Upload Your Own Targeted Direct Mail List

If you already know exactly who you want to send your postcard to, Upload Your Own Targeted Direct Mail List allows you to simply upload a spreadsheet of recipients. This is an ideal option for businesses that already have their own customer lists as a result of other marketing initiatives.

There’s never been a better time to embrace direct marketing. And fortunately, it’s never been easier for businesses to enter this medium. Click here to get started.

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