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In 2018, 81% of businesses claimed that they would either maintain or increase their usage of direct mail marketing over the next 12 months. 


Because it works. 

It may be the digital age, but direct mail marketing is not dead. In fact, when you consider just how congested modern marketing channels are, the benefits of direct mail become clear.

Brands want to enhance their omnichannel marketing strategy, so direct mail is making a comeback as it now offers a less competitive route to your customers. 

Read on to discover the value of direct mail marketing today, and to learn how direct mail and digital marketing can improve your business.

5 Benefits of Direct Mail Marketing in the Digital Age

So, how do direct mail and digital marketing work together?

According to Tecnau, businesses that combine digital channels with direct mail marketing generate a 68% increase in website traffic.  

In an omnichannel marketing strategy, you must offer a seamless user experience from one touchpoint to the next. With direct mail, you can engage prospects offline, driving them to take action online.

Here are five benefits of direct mail today:

1. Connecting with Consumers at their Home

The truth is that people like opening mail. While digital channels make it possible to contact consumers 24/7, there is something undeniably appealing about printed letters.

Note that 44% of millennials -- the first 'digital native' generation -- list the mailbox as their favorite channel to receive brand offers. This tops even mobile!

With direct mail marketing personalized through data insights, brands can make an impact on prospects in a way social media or email can’t. 

2. Direct Mail is a Proven Channel

It’s tempting to dive in with the latest marketing technology. However, even big companies with huge budgets should be wary of shifting their budget away from proven methods. 

Direct mail marketing has been a reliable channel for decades, and contrary to what some may believe, it is set to stay that way. 

Email, social media, and paid ads are becoming increasingly competitive, and so, consumers are tired of being inundated with online brand messages. Strangely enough, it is the old mailbox that offers a fresh way to convey emotions and invoke reactions in the digital era.

Learn More: 3 Must-Have Emotional Sales Tactics

3. Generating Returns

Following on from that last point, consider this:

In 2018, the Direct Marketing Association reported that direct mail achieves a 9% response rate, dwarfing the paltry 1% rate of email and social media.

Consumers aren’t just happy to receive direct mail -- they are responding to it. And therein lies one of the biggest benefits of direct mail:

It drives results.

4. Direct Mail is Flexible for Segmentation and Targeting

In 2019, there has been much hype about local SEO and refined ads targeting. Businesses want to optimize their marketing budget to target a very specific audience because this will help earn the best possible return on investment (ROI).

With direct mail marketing, you can apply the same practices of audience segmentation, targeting, and scaling to finetune your omnichannel marketing campaign. 

By considering demographics and audience insights, you can make localized offers through direct mail, ensuring you reach a relevant audience with content that resonates.

5. Longer Shelf Life

Direct mail is tangible and real. When you receive a letter, opening it up requires more engagement and interaction than email.

Emails tend to be forgotten or deleted shortly after opening. Direct mail, however, can live much longer.

A study by Royal Mail found that 60% of people agreed that the physical nature of direct mail makes it easier to recall brand messaging at a later date. 

Direct mail is a physical marketing asset that can be held, touched, and read, again and again, effectively inspiring action for several weeks.

4 Tips for Using Direct Mail and Digital Marketing in Your Omnichannel Strategy

Now that you understand the benefits of direct mail let's take a look at how direct mail and digital marketing can work in an omnichannel marketing strategy.

Personalize your Direct Mail Marketing

"A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language." 

  • Dale Carnegie

People want brands to care. 

Forbes reports that 84% of recipients say personalization makes them more likely to open direct mail.

Instead of blasting out generic letters, you can leverage data insights from onsite behaviors to add personalization in direct mail marketing, which, in turn, is likely to generate better results.

Use Careful Targeting

MarketingSherpa report that 76% of consumers trust direct mail when making purchasing decisions. What's more, is that consumers -- even the advertising-wary millennials -- trust traditional advertising channels more than digital channels.

The biggest mistake is to send too much direct mail. You don’t want to give people a bad impression by flooding their mailbox, so aim for quality over quantity.

Through careful targeting, you can make relevant offers, so your direct mail doesn’t go to waste.

Be Bold In B2B

In B2B marketing, you need to make an unforgettable impact to sway the key decision-makers. So, don't be afraid to go big to stand out.

Heinz Marketing sent empty iPad boxes to top prospects with a note:

"We know your time is valuable, but if you talk to us about how to solve the XYZ problem that you already have, we'll give you the iPad that was in this box."

The company generated twice as many appointments as they gave away iPads, effectively generating new leads with a smart direct mail strategy.

Learn More: 7 Lead Generation Tools for Modern Marketing 

Don’t Forget a Clear Call-To-Action

After reading your direct mail, the next step should be crystal-clear for your recipients.

You could provide something like:

  • A scannable QR code that links to an online video or download link. 
  • A coupon they can use to get a discount on their next order.
  • A direct number or link to book an appointment to discuss an offer.

Whatever your CTA is, you should strive for consistency throughout your brand messaging, so that your direct mail and digital marketing tie together, giving prospects a smooth customer journey to the point of purchase.

Wrap Up

Direct mail marketing has evolved. Instead of fading into obscurity against the backdrop of innovative marketing technology, physical post is now another tool in the modern marketer’s arsenal.

Effective marketing is all about finding the balance between different channels, both online and offline. By using direct mail and digital marketing in tandem, you can continue to make the right offer to the right person, at the right time.

How will you use direct mail this year?

By CJ Haughey

CJ Haughey is the managing editor of MarTech Gazette. A creative copywriter and self-confessed digital marketing nerd, this shaggy-haired Irishman is currently shaking the last of the travel bug off in his adopted home of Colombia. In his spare time he tries to avoid being sick at kickboxing training.