Article

David Amor
David Amor 15 April 2016

Why Direct Mail in the 21st Century?

Does Email really connect with customers the same way Direct Mail does?

Why Direct Mail in the 21st Century?

 

Is Direct Mail old fashioned? Tired - past its Prime? Overtaken by e-mail?

The above are typical of comments heard over the last few years. 

The main comparison marketers undertake is between e-mail and direct mail - they both have their strengths and weaknesses so let’s explore this.

There is no one way to undertake your marketing – you should be using all the relevant methods available to communicate and sell that are open to you. Research proves that using more than one method together increases effectiveness by on average 24% over using the individual methods on their own.

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E-mail
It’s fast, quick, low cost and research shows people prefer it as a method of communication when they know the organisation that is contacting them. In the UK 2015 average open rates were 19.4% (consumer products faired better at 27.3%) and a unique click through rate of 16.9%. Only 20% of those who received the e-mail actually clicked through to the website. Where you have a relationship with the individual, results improve and the top performers had an open rate of 38.6%.

We know e-mail can and does work but the sheer volume of clutter in an inbox, shows that e-mails are great at communication mainly if the recipient knows you.

However setting out to build a business and generating new enquiries is far more difficult due to low open and response rates. 

Direct Mail
With 100% delivery, 56% of people believe that printed marketing is the most trust worthy form of communication, 66% of consumers keep their mail for over 2 weeks. Even in a digital world direct mail gets 44% of recipients to go your website. Average response rates are 4%. Overall 7% of receivers will take some sort of action.

Research undertaken at Bangor University looked at how the brain reacts to printed material versus virtual stimuli.  The “real” experience that the physical media provides means it’s better at becoming part of memory. It generates more emotion, helps to develop more positive brand associations, the materials have a more personal effect, and therefore aid motivation.

Direct mail has a response rate of 30 times that of e-mail and coupled with the availability of large quantities of reliable data and increasingly cost effective personalised digital print provides a great opportunity to build business.

David Amor is author of Direct Mail 101 – a book that contains proven steps to explode your profits both online and offline. He is the Managing Director of First Move direct marketing, a leading mailing house located in the Thames Valley. http://www.firstmove.co.uk

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