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Direct Mail Marketing Still Delivers Impressive Results

Categories: Industry Insights
direct mail marketing

This story originally appeared in Volume V of Domtar’s Blueline Magazine. It has been edited for the Newsroom.

Effective advertising appeals to consumers’ emotions. As such, direct mail marketing, which has been proven to generate a positive emotional response, can lead to better results for marketers.

In an increasingly digital world, direct mail marketing provides the sensory input that customers crave, giving advertisers the biggest bang for their buck. And when direct mail marketing is paired with digital marketing in an optimized media mix, advertisers get stronger results, and consumers respond on an emotional level, creating connections that are difficult to forget.

Need proof? Check out these stats from Canada Post’s Smartmail Marketing: The Science of Activation:

  • Direct mail marketing generates 29 percent higher brand recall than digital advertising.
  • Online pre-roll video ads hold a customer’s attention 57 percent longer when they are followed by direct mail.
  • Combining direct mail marketing with display ads result in 46 percent higher brand recall than a display ad-only campaign.
  • Integrated campaigns drive 39 percent more attention that single-media campaigns.

Four Reasons Why Direct Mail Marketing is Effective

1. It Commands Attention

Direct mail gets a viewer’s attention in a way that digital marketing might not. Why? For starters, there are fewer distractions. Digital marketing is great at generating brand awareness and introducing your product to a new audience, but your audience might sometimes be too distracted to respond. Distractions are part of the digital experience, whether it’s a pop-up ad that interrupts the reading of your favorite blog or a banner that catches your eye when reading your news feed on Facebook.

When you receive a direct mail marketing piece, you aren’t being distracted from another task. Your focus is completely on reading your mail. As a result, you’re more in control of the length of time you interact with each piece. And on average, people spend 25 minutes with direct mail pieces.

2. It Creates a Greater Sense of Trust


A recent study from the Finnish research company VVT that surveyed people in 13 countries found that 90 percent of respondents prefer direct mail marketing to social media, and 63 percent said that they thought print ads were more trustworthy. Perhaps as a result of this perception, 92 percent of shoppers in another survey say they prefer direct mail when making purchasing decisions.

3. It’s Fun

Everyone loves getting mail. Whether you’re opening a card from a loved one or browsing through your favorite clothing catalog, sitting down to read your mail can be enjoyable. A lot of it may have to do with the simple experience of holding something tangible in your hands.

Studies have shown that our mood improves by 29 percent when exposed to a positive tactile feeling. Direct mail marketing certainly fits the bill, and the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Adding a textured varnish or an interesting fold or creating a uniquely sized piece will help your direct mail piece stand out.

4. It’s Personal without Being Creepy


While a banner ad that calls you by name makes you feel spied on, personalized direct mail marketing feels friendly and exciting. In fact, it can generate appreciation for the business it represents because many consumers recognize that personalizing print requires more effort than personalizing digital ads. Companies can create more personal relationships with customers by sending special birthday offers, catalogs that complement previous purchases or simple promotional pieces personalized with a customer’s name.