Do you remember direct mail marketing?
Ah, yes… direct mail marketing. That thing we all did before marketing went entirely digital, what with social media shares, likes and tweets, email marketing and blogs having taken over somewhat.
Except, of course, that it isn’t quite true.
Savvy marketers, across small and large businesses alike, are continuing to make heavy use of direct mail marketing. Even Google, that web giant to beat all web giants, still uses it.
The truth is that the most recent statistics strongly back up direct mail marketing as a means of converting more business for less money. It’s not something that we’re used to hearing, but it’s true – with direct mail having led to a purchase for 65 per cent of consumers of all ages, according to the Direct Mail Association (DMA) Factbook for 2013.
What other statistics show that direct mail is still hot?
Consider the average response rate for direct mail. In 2012, it was 4.4 per cent for business-to-business and business to consumer mailings alike, says Direct Mail News, which not only surpasses industry expectations by some distance, but also the meagre 0.12 per cent response rate mustered by electronic mail.
Why else do you think direct mail marketing has been undergoing a renaissance in recent times? So many marketers across so many different sectors are making the most of it, perhaps due to reading statistics like these, or after first-hand experience of its benefits. They may have seemingly exhausted the potential of online channels for business growth, only to discover that direct mail is a great way of driving traffic back to their website, perhaps to offers and discounts with a deadline to instil urgency in the recipient.
Doesn’t the higher cost of direct mail compromise ROI?
You might imagine, though, that direct mail must be fairly limited in its effectiveness given the costs of printing out direct mail compared to simply writing and sending an email. However, a campaign’s raw cost isn’t the major factor as far as ROI is concerned. Instead, you need to look at the cost per lead – and again, according to the DMA, letter-sized direct mail’s cost per lead of $51.40 compares well to the $55.24 managed by email marketing.
The equivalent figures for Pay Per Click, print advertising and telemarketing are $52.58, $60.50 and $190.49 respectively. So, there you go – direct mail marketing triumphs again.
Although there are higher production costs associated with direct mail marketing, its conversion rate also betters any other medium, according to the Print on Demand Institute (PODI), which found that to be the case for both lead-generating “free” offers and one-step “buy now” offers. Personalise your direct mail for your target audience and combine it with personalised landing pages, and you can look forward to even better results.
The lesson from the statistics is simple: direct mail marketing may be an oldie, but it’s also most certainly a goodie.
Here’s an interesting video about direct mail marketing…