Is Direct Mail Really Dead?

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Hubspot, the Inbound Marketing industry leader, has recently released these statistics.
Reviewing their highlights helps clarify the outbound (actively seeking customers) marketing options available to you and along the way kill a rumor about the death of Direct Mail.

We’ll let you be the judge:

  • 200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list
  • 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted into
  • 84% of 25-34-year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising
  • 86% of people skip television ads
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened

These results are nothing short of fascinating.

For email, TV, website, the percentage of people not even seeing your ad is in the mid-to-high 80’s.

A large majority of Americans can’t be reached by phone.

Yet, 56% of people still ACTUALLY OPEN direct mail letters.
Not postcards, Letters!(Traditionally letters are considered more challenging than postcards as they require being open whereas postcards can be glanced at upon receipt with no effort. As such, the effort spent designing an effective letter is usually bigger than postcard as the outside has to be appealing enough to elicit the recipient to open it. There are many ways to achieve that, but we won’t discuss them in this post).

A prospect is twice as likely to read a letter you send them than sit through your TV commercial (and they sure don’t run to the kitchen to bring their favorite snack when they find a letter in their mailbox as they do during commercials… 🙂 )

Are you ready for the big news?
We haven’t even made it to our punchline. Here goes:

Event-triggered marketing can potentially save 80% of your direct mail budget. (Source: Gartner Research)

Now what have we been saying for 40+ years?


Makes you want to scream this sentence

(hit play button now…)

.

.


Well McFlys


(where ever you are)

THINK!

Instead of mailing entire neighborhoods each week, why not reach only those who need your products and services AT THE SAME WEEK that need becomes a priority?
“When is that”, you ask, Mr. McFly?
Upon close of escrow as they are getting ready to move into their new home.
That’s when they’re likely to take action and make a purchase without much persuasion.

Even if you’re running a Pizza parlor, chances are the guy who lives here for 15 years has already driven by a thousand times, but the new couple with the baby that has just bought into the house down the street and moved here from a place more than 15 miles away (on average) has no clue you are here. They are going to move in and a free hot slice , or a free clinic checkup for the pet or their kid (sorry for the poor comparison, apologies moms and dads) may be just what makes them your next loyal customer for the next 15 years.

Now THINK about that McFly!

So what is all the fuss about Direct Mail “dying”, when clearly it is one of the few traditional advertising methods people still effectively interact with?

In conclusion:

Direct Mail is not “dying”.
It’s redefining a niche in an age of fragmented marketing, mobile and social.

Targeted Direct Mail (like mailing New Homeowners) is effective, affordable and profitable.
If it’s not part of your Marketing Mix, you might as well play that video again McFly…

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(sources for the statistics can be found here and here)

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