Avalon Blog

Direct Mail Marketing Too Old Fashioned? Not a Chance!

If I were the gambling type, I would bet that the majority of consumers believe direct mail campaigns are irrelevant in today’s age, and to boot a waste of a marketer’s time and money. Is that really the truth though?

The thought that direct mail is or should be a thing of the past is a naïve one at best. There are still numerous reasons why direct mail campaigns are not only relevant, but successful in the world of marketing. Let’s take a look at some of the common statements you would hear from the direct mail naysayers and demonstrate why this method is still significant.

With today’s rapid growth of social media and internet advertising, why do marketers even bother with direct mail campaigns?

Some suggest that social media will eventually replace direct mail for the preferred method of advertising. While that may prove to be true, this does not mean that direct mail is dead either. A piece of direct mail would then actually stand out from the influx of social media posts and advertisements.

Even though we are living a world full of digital marketing, we must not forget the physical. Direct mail pieces are tangible, you can touch and feel them, personalize them, keep them around for later use or reference, all features that a digital marketing cannot offer.

I pay no attention to all this “junk mail”.

© MaFiFo / FotoliaI am sure that all of us can recognize a credit card “pre-approved” application mailer, a fundraising letter from a local charity, or coupon package, such as ValPak. Therefore, when you say you don’t pay attention, you do. You know what the marketer wants and likely what their message is, however you may not choose to open it. That certainly does not mean you do not pay attention just because you didn’t open or fully read through the contents.

If anything, digital junk mail (junk e-mail or spam) is disregarded more by consumers than the physical “junk mail.” Personally, my inbox is full of more offers and advertisements than my mailbox is, and ends up in my digital trash bin quicker than direct mailers make it in my garage can.

Internet and social media marketing reach more consumers, therefore increasing revenue.  

In theory maybe, but how can that be proved? The difficulty with internet and social media marketing is measuring their return on investment. Marketers cannot always measure digital marketing in terms of revenue. Yes, more people may see your message, but how do you know which consumers saw your ad and then purchased a product or service from you? Without asking every single consumer, digital advertising is tough to track and measure.

With direct mail marketing, you have an archived list of who you sent the mailer to right? So let’s say a hair salon sends out a coupon to prospective clients in the local area for $10 off their first appointment. When that coupon is utilized, the salon can then record that data, know who took an advantage of the offer, how many new customers were gained, and how much additional revenue was generated from that particular mailer. Measuring return on investment with direct mail campaigns is much easier than with any digital form of advertisement.

Almost everyone is on Facebook and Twitter, marketers should advertise there.

I think it is safe to speak for most, when you log on to Facebook, you are there to catch up with friends and family, to find out what they have been up to or how they have been doing. I have never once thought to myself - I really need a new pair of sneakers - I better log into Facebook and buy a pair. Consumers, when on Twitter and Facebook, are likely not in a buying mindset. If anything they may ask trusted family and friends what they think about a product or service, but they are not on a social media site to purchase anything. They are there to socialize.

Direct mailers are able to be target consumers much more effectively than social media. For example, an insurance company acquires a list of persons who have purchased homes within the last month. This is the perfect time to send a mailer to them regarding the home owner insurance they can provide, and then maybe include information on their life insurance coverage and vehicle coverage while they are at it. New home owners are typically tight on cash after their recent purchase, and now they see the insurance company can bundle all of their insurance needs together and save them some money. Sounds like the perfect timing ! 


Don’t get us wrong here; we are in no way bashing digital marketing. We believe that any successful marketing campaign should be well rounded and utilize both online and offline strategies. The use of both is a great way to boost any campaign. We are just simply saying not rule out direct mailers as a method of marketing. They are more valuable that you think.

If you are thinking about putting together a direct mail campaign, remember that Avalon can help. Give us a call.

If you liked this blog you might also be interested in reading: The Impact of Personalized Print


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