Some people may consider direct mail as an outdated way to market, focusing instead on the various digital marketing channels available today. Others erroneously think of it as expensive compared to email or other digital media.

The reality is, direct mail marketing is a tried-and-true marketing channel and there’s a reason high-tech companies like Google and Apple still use it. Direct mail gets your brand into your customers’ hands and produces fantastic results—as demonstrated by the data following these campaigns.

Direct mail marketing gives you lots of flexibility in the kind of prospects you can reach, the kind of sales material you can send them, and how you ask them to respond. But even with all that flexibility, a basic direct mail campaign always involves these three basic elements:

  1. Sending out sales material with a targeted message…
  2. To a select group of people…
  3. And asking them to do something very specific—a direct call to action that motivates and tells prospects how to respond.

Why is Direct Mail more effective than other forms of advertising?

There are a number of reasons why direct mail is still effective in today’s online-dominant environment. For one, a piece of direct mail is a physical, tactile object—it’s something someone interacts with. We tend to respond to things we touch and the physicality of direct mail is better at driving action for a simple reason—our brains are hard-wired to pay more attention to it.

Direct Mail is easier to understand, far more persuasive than digital media*

  • Its motivation response is 20% higher –even more-so if it appeals to senses beyond touch (scented inks!)
  • Direct mail is easier to understand – interestingly, 21% less mental effort is needed to process direct mail than digital media.

Direct Mail outperforms digital media in brand and offer recall

  • Consumers who received offline direct mail advertisements were able to recall 75% of the time
  • Consumers who viewed the same ads in digital formats were only able to recall 44% of the time

*Source: Canada Post Corporation / True Impact Marketing: Understanding the Impact of Physical Communications through Neuroscience, February 2015

How does Direct Mail work to engage customers in other channels?

Direct mail delivers. Not just on its own, but especially as part of a mutli-channel campaign. Consumers may typically purchase online or in stores, but more often than not, they are motivated to do so because they receive meaningful direct mail pieces—often printed catalogues that contain content that is reflective of their lifestyles, interests, locations, and previous purchases.

Direct Mail’s combination effects: A one-two punch that drives action

  • Integrating direct mail and digital campaigns created 10% higher brand recall and 5% more arousal than single media campaigns.
  • Consumers brains paid 39% more attention to integrated direct mail and digital campaigns than to single-media digital campaigns.

The clear takeaway here is that adding direct mail to a digital advertising campaign brings greater attention, heightened emotional engagement and stronger brand recall.

Sequencing effects: Order can make a difference

  • Consumers had a 40% higher brand recall when direct mail followed email.
  • Arousal peaked 26% higher than other campaign mixes when direct mail followed display.

In summary, arousal peaks in campaigns where direct mail follows display. Motivation peaks in campaigns where direct mail follows pre-roll. Brand recall peaks in campaigns where direct mail follows email.

From Millennials to Boomers, when consumers get mail that’s relevant to them, they welcome it into their home. Direct mail is noticed, opened, read, kept, shared and displayed—meaning that your message and brand is engaged with many times, for long-lasting impact.

Let the experts at Hemlock Harling show you how to use the proven physical attributes of direct mail to deliver your message to the desired recipient as quickly, effectively, and inexpensively as possible.

*Source: Canada Post Corporation: Breaking Through the Noise (2015).  A Bias for Action (2015).