Direct mail marketing still showing returns year after year.

The Data & Marketing Association released the latest edition of its Statistical Fact Book last year, and good news for those who use direct mail: It still has a pretty good return on investment.

You would think that with the push for more sustainable practices and the adoption of digital services like email and Facebook among the older generation might stop use of direct mail or hinder its impact. And while the DMA does acknowledge the volume of direct mail has declined over the past decade, it notes that this decline is likely due to an increased focus on personalizing mail and engaging a specific target audience.

Notable facts from the 2017 report include:

  • 43 percent increase in direct mail—customer response rates YOY
  • 190 percent increase in direct mail—acquisition response rates YOY
  • Response rate doubled for consumers between 18-21

By focusing on a specific target audience and using direct mail as a part of an integrated campaign, direct mail’s return on investment has held.

Make Your Direct Mail Stand Out

There are still ways you can use direct mail to generate leads, lead consumers through the decision-making process and convert. So if you’d like to send out a direct mail piece, here are some items to keep in mind:

Send campaigns to specific targets

Don’t let your direct mail be seen as “spam”: By sending mail only to specific targets, you’ll see a better response rate. For example, you could send a direct mail piece to someone based on their online browsing behavior. Send a coupon or alert of an upcoming sale that piques their interest and sends them back to your website to convert. Or find out their needs through some other means and use a direct mail piece to explain how your services or products offer them an easy solution.

Try new technology

There’s something about getting a piece of mail with a unique texture or an emboss in the right place that makes it so much more visually appealing. But some ingenious marketers are looking for ways to incorporate the other senses—sound, smell and taste—into their marketing. Trying to sell a vacation package? Think of how you can include the breezy scent of salty beach air or the taste of a fruity drink.

Consider the generation

While there are different methods of marketing to older and younger generations, all like receiving mail. But as with creating any other content, keep your target audience in mind: The older generation may require a piece that has larger text and better color contrast while the younger generation may appreciate direct mail that is more “high-tech.”

More visuals, less detail

Visuals are processed 60 thousand times faster than text, so your direct mail should include a lot of graphics, photos or other visual imagery that help tell your story. Keep the text to a minimum, and of the text you do include, keep it high level and easily understood within 8 seconds.

Here’s an example of a direct mail piece we recently did for Baxter Healthcare to promote their booth at ASHP Midyear 2017. It’s fun, interactive (slides open), has a clear call to action, and while there is text, it is bulleted and concise.

Baxter USHP Direct Mail — 2017

Direct mail piece for ASHP Midyear in 2017

Your Next Great Marketing Piece

In crafting a direct mail piece that’s going to give you a return on your investment, remember three words: Targeted, engaging and concise. Don’t send direct mail to every address you have, keep the piece interesting and don’t kill it with details.

Whether you need a direct mail piece as part of a currently running campaign or need a new campaign entirely, we can help. Send us a note at 200 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1410, Chicago, IL 60604 or email us at [email protected].