Direct Mail: Still Not Dead

By Toby Reed

Direct Mail: Alive and Well

When speaking of Direct Mail I am often reminded of the Mark Twain quote “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”. So is true of Direct Mail. For years, industry “experts” have predicted that direct mail would die a long slow death as marketers would move their advertising spend to the hotter and sexier online marketing mediums of email, mobile apps, and internet pop-ups ads. After all, they have greater reach, and cost less to implement, so they must yield a better return on investment for the marketer. Right?

Wrong! While the logic above sounds solid, and internet marketing is in fact growing, the facts reveal that direct mail is far from dead. In fact, direct mail is showing overall spending growth in businesses marketing budgets. With all of the interest and growth in internet based advertising, why would businesses be spending more money in direct mail? Because marketers are seeing that direct mail works. It reaches its intended recipient, prompts action, and converts leads into sales. But don’t just take my word for it. Consider the USPS 2014 Household Diary study. In this study, the USPS reveals that direct mail now represents 62% of all mail sent through the USPS, and that direct mail spending has increased 4.2% in 2014 versus 2013 (Table 5.1, Page 41). Moreover, direct mail was the ONLY non-internet marketing medium to show an advertising spend increase in that time period.

Direct Mail: Part of an Integrated Marketing Plan

In truth, Direct Mail continues to be an important part of the marketing mix for many businesses and a big growth area for our business here at Tension. So if you are seeing more color, opening devices, and unique envelope applications in your mailbox, there is a good reason. Direct Mail is one of the engines that is successfully promoting businesses’ growth.

So the next time you hear someone tell you that ‘email has killed direct mail’, think about our friend Mark Twain’s quote, what you see in your mailbox, and the USPS Household Data report. Then as you are listening to someone ramble on, captivating their audience about the ‘death of direct mail’, be reminded of another great Mark Twain quote, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story”.

Visit Tension Corporation here for more insights on direct mail, trends, and solutions.


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