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Are Direct Mailing Solutions Still Relevant in the Digital World?

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Are Direct Mailing Solutions Still Relevant in the Digital World?

Direct mail is outdated and boring, right? Wrong. 

Direct mail can be surprisingly effective, even holding its own against some digital channels. 

The data is undeniable: Direct mail open rates can reach up to 90%. Plus, a whopping 91% of receivers engage with direct mail. 

In this post, we’ll dive into the surprising benefits of using direct mail.

Let’s jump right in. 

Why Are Direct Mailing Solutions Still Relevant in the Digital World?

Here are 11 reasons to use direct mailing solutions

High ROI (Return on Investment)

Surprisingly, direct mail offers a higher return on investment than several digital marketing channels, including paid search. 

According to The 2023 ANA Response Rate Report, direct mail generated an ROI of 161%. 

Of course, your campaign needs to be optimized for the right audience to generate that kind of return. 

But, despite what you may have heard, direct mail still offers an amazing marketing opportunity. 

Works Great with Digital Marketing

Smart marketers don’t solely rely on one channel, even if it generates results. 

If they have a running search ad, they’ll try to diversify their traffic with social media advertising. 

Similarly, traditional and digital marketing aren’t mutually exclusive. 

So, if you think direct mail can help your business, integrate it into your marketing strategy. 

In this competitive digital environment, getting noticed can be the hardest part for most marketers. 

Traditional mail can help you attract your target customer into your marketing funnel. From there, you can move prospects down the funnel with digital marketing. 

Bridging the Gap with QR Codes

QR codes are mobile-scannable black-and-white patterns on a physical paper.

Businesses are strategically using QR codes to bridge the gap between the traditional and modern media. 

By adding a QR code to your direct mail, you make it easy for prospects to access your online material with their smartphones. 

This could be anything from a product description to an explainer video to a landing page. 

Once someone scans your QR code and reads your online content, they become your lead. 

Easier to Target

Digital platforms like Facebook and Google give marketers a wealth of information and powerful tools to target the right audiences. 

But, can you reach the right people with direct mail? Yes, it’s easier than you might think. 

You can target your audience based on different factors including:

  • Postal codes
  • Average household size
  • Average household income
  • Number of businesses
  • Number of residents
  • Age range

However, if you’re a marketer, and don’t know who your target audience is, direct mail will not work for you. 

If you already have some customers, you can resevse-engineer their attributes to create a look-alike audience. 

Identify their age, gender, income, and other attributes and use direct mailing to bring them into your marketing funnel. 

Direct Mail Is Trackable

Digital platforms like Facebook ads automatically track engagement and show it in your dashboard. 

Direct mail is different. Since it’s physical mail, automation won’t work. But, the good thing is direct mail tracking is completely doable. 

Imagine someone visits your website and makes a purchase. Normally, the credit of that conversion will go to the website, but what if someone saw your URL on direct mail?

How do you know if someone found your business website through direct mail and not any other channel?

By using unique contact information, such as a phone number or an email. 

If your goal is to get people to your website, you can create a dedicated landing page for direct mail. 

When someone contacts you on that number/email or visits that page, you’ll know they came from direct mail. 

It’s Easier to Stand Out with Direct Mail 

Direct mail seems outdated and hence, ineffective. 

Less and less people are using direct mail because it isn’t the norm anymore. 

But, that shouldn’t keep you from using this classic communication channel.

In fact, since it’s less popular among marketers, it provides an opportunity to stand out. 

Imagine ranking on Google for a competitive term like “Best Direct Mailing Solutions”. 

You’ll be competing with giants like Forbes and other 2,180,000,000 web pages. 

The similar is true for other marketing mediums. There’s no shortage of marketing material on the internet these days. 

In this crowded space, direct mail offers a perfect way to stand out and get your message across.

Plus, when there’s less competition, you have more room for testing different strategies.

Direct Mail Is Memorable and Tangible

Digital messages may be easier to store and manage. They’re not as memorable.

Unlike a fleeting digital message, direct mail sticks to the memory and creates a tangible experience. 

Imagine receiving a 30% off coupon from your favorite local food place. The pamphlet may not get immediate attention, but it will stick to your memory. 

You’ll know there’s a coupon about to expire on your kitchen shelf, creating a sense of urgency. 

Later on, when the right time comes, you might use that coupon. 

If your direct mail has an offer, it’ll remain in your prospect’s memory for a long time. 

But, the main reason why direct mail sticks is that it’s tangible and clutters physical space.

On the other hand, digital messages vanish in no time, so they’re easier to forget. 

It Gets Attention

When we get direct mail, we tend to skim through every piece before cleaning out the mailbox. 

We’re afraid to accidentally throw away something important or miss out on something. 

Now, compare it with your digital mailbox – email.

It receives tons of messages from relevant and irrelevant sources. You might not even open the ones that don’t seem important. 

Plus, when you’re online, you’re mostly working on other tasks and have several tabs open. 

But, when you receive a direct mail, you’re more likely in a relaxed state and have the time to look at each mail carefully. 

This is probably why direct mail gets a much better response rate than digital mail. 

Helps with Brand Awareness

As discussed before, direct mail tends to stick around in someone’s memory for a long time. 

It’s tangible and occupies physical space. It’s more likely to stick around and be more visible when it has a coupon on it. 

But, what if someone receives your direct mail, considers it unimportant, and throws it out?

As a marketer, you still win because they read your brand name, saw your logo, and know about your business. 

Even if you don’t generate immediate results, you’ll have a lasting impression on prospects. 

Later on, if they need or want your product, they’ll visit your website. 

Direct mail helps you build brand awareness and stay at the top of your prospects’ mind. 

Direct Mail Is Suitable for Every Age Group

This is probably the most compelling reason to use direct mail these days. 

With digital platforms like Facebook ads and email, you’re generally reaching a younger audience. 

On the other hand, direct mail offers an effective way to connect with older audiences who may not be as active on digital platforms.

People of all ages check direct mail. As a result, you can connect with anyone irrespective of how old they are. 

It’s Multi-Sensory

Hearing, sight, touch, taste, smell are the five human senses marketers can exploit. 

With digital marketing, they can leverage two, at most.

For instance, even the best Facebook ads can appeal to two senses:

  • Sight
  • Hearing

You can make the visual elements of an ad more appealing. And, you can use a great voice over for your videos. 

It’s almost impossible to address touch, taste, and smell. 

On the contrary, direct mail can take advantage of all or most of these senses.

  • Sight: A beautifully-designed postcard with eye-catching visuals
  • Touch: The postcard having raised texture simulating cake frosting
  • Smell: Vanilla scent applied to the postcard, addressing the sense of smell. The physical paper also carries a unique smell most of the time
  • Taste: Triggering reader’s imagination by using vivid descriptions and realistic food photos
  • Hearing: A QR code on your postcard redirecting people to an audio or video

We humans take in information through the 5 senses. 

So, the more of these senses your direct mail uses, the more likely that someone will pay attention to it. 

You Can Be Creative With It

With direct mail, you have more room for trying out creative strategies. 

Since it’s a physical medium, the possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas:

Puzzles and Games

You can add a puzzle or a game on your direct mail to improve retention and engagement. 

E.g., a maze leading to a discount code. 

Unexpected Packing

Instead of regular packaging, you can send your message in a unique container. 

E.g., a small box shaped like your product. 

Small Gift

You can further make your message stand out by including a small gift with your message. 

E.g., a seed packet for a gardening brand. 


Despite what you may think, the expansion of digital media has created more space for direct mail.

The 11 benefits discussed above should be reason enough to integrate direct mail with your digital marketing workflows. 

Traditional and digital don’t have to be mutually exclusive. 

You can use QR codes and dedicated landing pages to integrate direct mail with digital communication channels. 

In a world where everything is going digital, direct mail provides a unique opportunity to stand out and get noticed. 

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About Chris M. Walker

Chris has been active in the Information Technology industry for over a decade. In 2013 he began working in Search Engine Optimization and internet marketing. He has a proven track record of helping businesses reach their full potential with a combination of SEO, PPC Advertising, Social Media and Reputation Management, Custom Mobile App Development. Turning his clients businesses into Superstars.


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Get Content Directly From My Inbox To Yours That You Won’t Find Anywhere Else.