June 18, 2021

Just when you think print advertising is dead, direct mail surprises you by making its come back. The pandemic forced most businesses to go digital. However, it also saw an up rise in direct mail. It provided unique opportunities for marketers looking to forge relationships with consumers in an up-close, tangible and highly efficient way. Still, old assumptions about direct mail are keeping some brands from taking advantage of the benefits it has to offer. Here are some misconceptions surrounding direct mail.


Myth #1: Direct mail is old-fashioned

Everything is now easily accessible through our screens. Therefore, the need for print is no longer there. The truth is direct mail continues to engage consumers. The 2020 Awareness-to-Action Study found that 46% of consumers were encouraged to go online and seek out more information about a brand due to a mail ad. It also found that more than one-third (34%) said they were spending more time now engaging with direct mail ads than before the pandemic.

Myth #2: Direct mail is just for older consumers

Nearly everyone today, regardless of age, has a physical mailbox. The Awareness-to-Action survey found that GenXers (those born from 1965 to 1980), and millennials(born from 1981 to 1996) are as engaged or even more engaged with direct mail and inserts as boomers (born 1946 to 1964). 66% of millennials and 74% of GenXers said they read print ads and inserts, as do 68% of boomers.


Myth #3: Direct mail is expensive

Direct mail is not only efficient but can be one of the best investments a marketer can make. The Awareness-to-Action Study found that direct mail ads deliver great results and motivate consumers to take action. For example, direct mail ads inspire 53% of recipients to use a local service, 58% to visit a restaurant or use its delivery service, 48% to make their shopping lists and 41% to go online and make a purchase.


So whether your audience is old or new and your budget is big or small, direct mail can help you connect with consumers as part of a holistic, omnichannel campaign. Consumers say that when they see an ad both in print and digital media, they are more likely to remember the message (52%) and notice the ad (52%). Also, the technology and data available to marketers for digital ads is just helpful with direct mail campaigns. Marketers are able to better understand and engage audiences in specific neighborhoods through localized targeting and then tailor the messages around demographics and personal interests. So if you haven’t done so yet, add direct mail to your media plan.

Carolina Macedo, the author, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys.

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June 18, 2021