The age old myth is that the cockroach could survive a nuclear explosion. Hopefully that theory will never be put to the test, but in relative terms, is Direct Mail the cockroach of marketing?
A comparison to a cockroach may not be the most flattering metaphor, but it does share one common trait with it’s blattodean counterpart… resilience.
Since the Persian queen Atossa sent the first letter around 500 b.c, Direct Mail has endured, survived and thrived despite the more recent onslaught of digital channels vying to take it’s marketing crown.
In light of the emergence of these online channels, Direct Mail continues to prove its value in 2018, around 2 and a half thousand years since that first letter was sent. So why is it that something so seemingly archaic continues to provide some of the best response rates amongst all of the marketing mediums? Well, alongside the aforementioned resilience, it’s also been extremely adaptable and that is the key to its continuing longevity.
If you thought DM was a channel targeted solely at an older recipient, you’d be way off the mark. The response rates stand up even when looking at the figures for young adults. Let’s look at some direct mail stats in more detail:
Direct Mail Statistics
High response rates, younger audiences…
- Best response rate: 5.1% response rate, according to the DMA. By comparison, email and paid search receive a 0.6% response rate and social media receives 0.4%
- Younger audience: 18-21 year olds have a response rate of 12.4% to direct mail.
- It’s wise to consider the size: Oversized envelopes have a response rate of 6.6%, Postcards’ response rate is 5.7% and letter-sized is 4.3%. Their ROI is higher too. Oversized ROI is 37%.
It hits the target
Few marketing channels are able to target quite so specifically as Direct Mail. If the timing’s right, there is a much better chance of engaging and communicating with your target audience and your message really resonating with the recipient. With the increasing scepticism around email marketing, Direct Mail is a trusted source that stays in the recipients thoughts for considerably longer.
The proof is in the.. mailer?
Recent research has shown that over 70% of consumers still have an appetite for print media despite the emergence of digital campaigns. In 2017, marketers spent £1.75 billion on Direct Mail and in the charity sector alone, Direct Mail accounted for 60% of ad spend in that sector. Why? Because it’s proven and it works.
The chances of being seen are much higher than an email, for example. Having something you can touch and feel leaves a lasting impression, as well as giving a greater sense of trust to the recipient as it’s something tangible they can physically hold. On average, a recipient keeps a DM piece for 17 days and 23% share a mailer with other members of the household. It’s got a very long tail!
Direct Mail: In Summary
There are a number of reasons for Direct Mail’s success; from trustworthiness to personalisation to longevity and eye catching appeal. Perhaps it’s biggest draw however is the fact it’s response rates are higher than other mediums and that’s key. If you want a medium that engages and appeals to your target audience, Direct Mail is your channel. Of course, multiple touchpoints across various channels is often the most effective way to structure a campaign, curating recipients on the journey from offline to online.
Whilst Direct Mail is more comparable to a peacock to us; bright, vibrant, eye catching and engaging, in some ways it is indeed the cockroach of marketing. Durable, resilient and ultimately, it will always be around. If the cockroach is Direct Mail’s spirit animal, then we’re absolutely fine with that comparison.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog piece, if you need any further info or would like to discuss your direct mail requirements, feel free to contact us on the office number: 0118 474 888 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org