Why Direct Mail Still Works

  • Jonathan Sweet
  • 18 Aug 2020

Social media and other digital marketing tactics get most of the buzz in marketing today. And those are important tools to have as part of your marketing mix.

We spend a lot of time talking about them ourselves, and it’s a big part of what we offer our remodeler clients. However, too often companies don’t think about one of the strongest methods you can use to market your business: direct mail.

We get it. It’s decidedly unsexy. But in the end our marketing efforts need to be about results.

Here are the reasons direct mail still works and should be a part of your marketing plan.

Direct mail stands out

Our email inboxes are filled every day; we’re inundated with social media content and texts. On the other hand, that digital turn, along with technologies like online bill pay, means our actual mailboxes don’t get nearly the amount of mail they once did. That direct mail piece is much more likely to be noticed.

Twenty-five years ago, we got excited when we got an email; and annoyed by the mailbox filled with bills, magazines and “junk mail.” That situation is basically reversed today, especially among Millennials. According to Gallup, 41 percent of Americans say they look forward to looking at their mail each day.

Open rates for email vary depending on the industry, but are usually south of 20 percent. Direct mail gets opened as much as 90 percent of the time, according to the Data & Marketing Association.

High response rate

The Association of National Advertisers says that direct mail gets a 9 percent response rate when mailed to a business’s own mailing list and about 5 percent when mailed to a purchased list. That doesn’t seem like much, until you consider that email gets 2 to 3 percent depending on the study, while paid search and social media have about a 1 percent response rate (at an admittedly lower cost).

Longer life

The average direct mail piece is kept for 17 days; the lifespan of the average email is measured in seconds. Even when an email is archived in an inbox or a social media post is “saved,” it’s likely to get lost in the digital shuffle.

Direct mail is also more likely to be shared and discussed within a household. That’s important for a major purchase like a home remodel versus buying a new pair of shoes.

Brand building

Consumers are more likely to respond to an offer from a company they recognize. Direct mail can help build brand recognition that makes other marketing more effective.

A Marketing Profs study showed that 75 percent of consumers can recall a brand message after seeing it in print, compared with only 44 percent who had seen a digital ad. A 2015 study commissioned by Canada Post found that it takes 21 percent less cognitive effort for the average person to process a print marketing message versus a digital one, as there are typically fewer distractions.

Direct mail is not the only answer to your marketing needs, but it needs to be part of the mix. A well-planned campaign, targeted at the right homeowners, can improve the impact of all of your marketing. RT Marketing can help you build a well-rounded marketing plan that considers all marketing elements from content to social media to direct mail and more!