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Marketing: Numbers Don’t Lie — Direct Mail Isn’t Dead

direct mail

Over the years, you’ve likely heard the phrase “direct mail is dead.” But is it really? According to the latest stats from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), you should hold off on saying “RIP” to direct mail for the time being.

In fact, marketers continue to spend a large portion of their budgets on direct mail year over year. And those dollars aren’t going to waste. According to the 2017 DMA Statistical Fact Book, “Print is impactful, interesting and powerful … Customer response rates increased year-over-year by an impressive 43 percent, but prospect response rates more than doubled — reporting an astounding 190 percent increase.”

As the DMA notes, this might be surprising, considering the fact digital has dominated the marketing conversation over the past five or more years. But just because it’s surprising doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Here a few reasons why direct mail has continued to provide ROI for marketers, courtesy of the 2017 DMA Statistical Fact Book:

Consumers retain information better on paper than they do digitally. “Thanks to neuro-marketing and haptic research we are beginning to discover the power of direct mail as a physical and tangible medium … consumers understand and remember what they read on paper better than what they read on a screen.”

Marketers have become better at direct mail. “The big change is an increase in mailings paired with digital intelligence — browsing behavior and sophisticated modeling based on preferences make mailings extra timely and relevant.”

Print is for all age groups, not just older markets. “Don’t buy into the misconception that print only works for an older market … …all age groups are interested in receiving and responding to mail. In fact, for ages 18-21 response rates doubled in 2016.”

The next time you plan your next marketing campaign, don’t forget: Direct mail is far from dead and should be seriously considered.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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