Direct Marketing (DM) is experiencing a resurgence in the marketing mix, and for good reason. It works. As a channel-agnostic agency, we keep tabs on the performance of various channels with different audiences (personas).
Recent research reveals that 70% of direct mail pieces get opened and 79% is read for a minute or more. And, DM’s response rate of 3.7% outperforms email (0.2%) and mobile/social/digital display (0.32%) combined. This, along with ongoing innovations in physical mail formats, digital printing efficiencies and personalization tools are leading many marketers to re-embrace DM to achieve more relevant, customized communications.
The channel has proven very effective with the mature market, who prefer to be regarded as individuals, making the inherent personalization of DM particularly powerful. This segment likes to get mail, is amongst the most responsive to the medium and is willing to read longer copy. They prefer to do their own research, at their own pace and convenience. This is critical for complex products and services that often benefit from an informational approach – like healthcare or financial services.
DM has some other advantages as well compared to its digital brethren. It’s tactile (especially with the use of specialty print effects and coatings), offers more space for creative imagery and informative copy, has shelf-life (can be put aside for later reading and shared), is viewed as more trusted, is less intrusive, is often easier to measure and has shown to be much more highly effective in client acquisition.
It is important to note in this discussion that DM is not a replacement for digital tactics, but rather a proven tool to be used alongside them in an integrated fashion to boost the efficacy of marketing efforts. DM is particularly good at creating initial awareness and starting the customer journey that can then be efficiently nurtured through email, digital and social media. One apt description is that DM can be viewed as the “onramp” of the customer journey.
Used wisely, and in an integrated fashion along with digital tactics, DM continues as a viable and effective tool in the modern marketing mix.