Who doesn’t love a good comeback story? The “Rocky” movies, Britney Spears, Twinkies…and add to that list old-fashioned, printed direct mail. Except, if you’re a shrewd integrated marketer, you know that direct mail never really went away. While email marketing, mobile, and social have been grabbing all of the headlines, consider these 2017 direct mail ROI statistics:
- Direct mail household response rate is 5.1% (compared to .6% email, .6% paid search, .2 online display, .4% social media).
- For every $167 spent of direct mail in the US, marketers sell $2095 in goods.
- Customer response rates improved year-over-year by 48%.
Compare all that to the average email marketing open rate of a paltry 22%, and it’s clear that direct mail is worth serious consideration.
Look Who’s Already Using It to Great Effect
Most integrated marketers don’t have the budget to blanket the entire country with a direct mail campaign – not that most will benefit from it. Those businesses that are making the best inroads with direct mail tend to be what we think of as “local” business, or companies with offerings targeted to a very specific location. Some of those businesses include:
- Real estate agents and brokers
- Car dealerships
- Marketing and advertising agencies
- Medical offices
- Solar companies
Metrics Matter More Than Ever
To paraphrase Apollo Creed, if you’re not using data-driven insights to craft your direct mail campaign, there ain’t gonna be no rematch. Those marketers who are killing it with direct mail are using the same analytics and insight they apply to email marketing and social media. They’re looking at where targets are on their customer journey, and sending personalized and relevant communications. And those integrated marketers who are seeing the biggest ticks in their performance metrics are using direct mail as part of an integrated campaign that also includes Web, email, mobile, and social.
Get Reacquainted with the Basics
Even with all of its benefits, a printed direct piece still costs much, much more than an email or a Tweet, so you want to get it right to get the best ROI.
- While it’s written for email, this article about list segmentation can still help you get your printed pieces to the right people at the right place in the funnel
- Read about the 7 simple tricks that get direct mailers opened
- It might be worth it to consider specialty formats, such as 3D printing or “lumpy” mailers
- Avoid shooting yourself in the foot with credibility-killing grammar errors
Last modified: February 14, 2018