Direct Mail Marketing: Why It Works in Today’s Digital World

In the middle of the 20th-century advertising boom, advertisements were the result of painstaking research and creative strategies between agencies and their clients. While they cast a wide net to the masses, these ads were still created with a target demographic and consumer behaviors in mind. This was a key strategy that cemented many of the iconic brands that we know and love today, even if they were born before our time.

Today, our screens have become so inundated with digital ads that they’ve begun to meld together as one lump of generic products and services. You may think of Super Bowl commercials or specific video advertisements that have become viral over the years, but can you recall that ad you saw on social media just earlier today?

Of course you can’t.

With so many ads being thrown at you at all times, the novelty of traditional advertising has almost entirely washed away. But there’s a way to revive that novelty: with direct mail marketing and print marketing solutions.

Fewer Ads, Bigger Impact

Recent reports show that the average American consumer sees thousands of online advertisements every day. It’s often impossible for you to recall a particular ad that you saw online, which makes a digital marketer’s job of breaking through the noise increasingly difficult. It’s become clear over the years that the more ads you see, the less memorable all of them become. We can only remember so many things in one day, and a digital ad is usually the last to make that list.

This is a key reason why marketers have seen a resurgence in direct mail campaigns in recent years. Because we don’t receive as much mail as we used to, most of us still take the time to sort through all of it every day. And when we come across that piece of direct mail that’s personalized to us,  our preferences, or our location, it’s a breath of fresh air compared to the onslaught of digital advertising. (Not to mention that it usually sits on your foyer table or kitchen counter for a few days for you to see again and again.) 

We’re Hardwired for Print

There’s actually a lot of recent research indicating that people are better able to comprehend and remember material that they read on print than on a digital screen. A Canadian neuromarketing firm conducted a study along these lines and found two major results: direct mail requires 21% less effort to process than digital media, and direct mail recipients were able to recall the advertisements 75% of the time, as compared to 44% among the digital-only recipients.

This may not come as a surprise to note-takers who still whip out their trusty pen and paper for the important stuff. Many of us take notes on our laptops or phones these days, but there are still people who swear by the traditional pen and paper methods, citing the fact that physically writing something helps you remember it more effectively.

All of this relates to the idea that our brains are wired to receive print material better than digital ads, making direct mail marketing a worthwhile investment. The Direct Marketing Association published its research on direct mail, stating that the average ROI of a direct mail campaign was between 15% and 17%. Those kinds of numbers speak for themselves.

Direct Mail Is Inherently More Trustworthy

When you see an advertisement in Time magazine, there’s no question regarding the ad’s authenticity or the company’s legitimacy. On the internet, however, this trust is not as easily established. Many times, we’re met with advertisements that are riddled with clickbait and potentially malicious redirects. This can pose challenges for many legitimate digital marketers who are simply doing their best to be honest and trustworthy. Low-quality content and advertisements run amuck on the internet, brewing distrust among digital shoppers.

Direct mail, on the other hand, is inherently trustworthy by simply being a piece of print material that can’t redirect you or hijack your browser. Part of marketing is thinking on your feet and turning on a dime when consumer behavior changes. This has compelled marketers to bring back the timeless direct mail marketing solutions that some mistakenly perceive as antiquated in our digital age. The truth? Print ads have much higher engagement than many similar digital ads.

While reporting and understanding the ROI of your direct mail can seem more difficult compared to the simplicity of digital reporting, there are actually ways around that.

Direct Mail Campaigns Still Produce Results

The digital advertising world gives marketers an easy, user-friendly way to build reports and know exactly how well their advertisements are working. They get views, clicks, and conversions all calculated through their platform to gauge where ads need improvement or which ones are performing well (and therefore need their budgets raised).

Direct mail can seem scary to a digital marketer who is concerned about tracking and knowing how well their campaign is doing and whether all of their time and money is being spent productively. Luckily, there’s still a way to do just that.

Direct mail campaigns perform best when they offer something to the prospect, whether it’s a coupon code or a free item. It’s a simple way to draw them in. Using specific codes is the best way to keep track of how well your campaign is doing. When purchases are made or emails are sent containing that code, you can be certain that the direct mail piece was received well and was used to engage with your brand. Back-end reporting is one of the things we do for direct mail campaigns at Advertisers Printing; we’d be happy to explain how this works in more detail.

Getting Started

Direct mail campaigns don’t need to be intimidating—that’s what we’re here for! Our direct mail experts can guide you from start to finish on the most efficient and cost-effective way to run a direct mail campaign. We can help you build target demographics, find mailing lists, build designs, write copy, and take care of everything else involved in the process.

Get in touch with one of our experts today to start building your direct mail campaign and bringing in results.