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How are Modern Consumers Responding to Direct Mail Advertising?

Email marketing and online marketing continue to grow but more and more marketing managers have increased their direct mail marketing budgets. Why is this happening? You might have read on the MSI Marketing Blog that studies are showing direct mail as the most trustworthy kind of marketing in the eyes of consumers.

Makes you want to think again about dumping your entire marketing budget into one type of online marketing doesn’t it? If you’re curious about how direct mail might fare for gaining new business, you might want to see some of these stats on how the information age consumers are responding to direct mail marketing…

Stats Show that Direct Mail is More Effective than Ever

According to DMA Statistical Fact Book 2012, 54% of all mailed postcards are read by the recipient. The United States Postal Service also reported that 98% of consumers will bring their mail in the day it’s delivered. Nearly 80% of them will sort their mail that day and according to the USPS, a whopping 85% of women between the ages of 25 and 44 will read direct mail messages.

Another report from shows that direct mail response rates have increased by 14% over the past few years and that direct mail is still the #1 marketing channel for large businesses.

Are people responding this well to email marketing and even mobile marketing?

Not quite. As of 2012, email response rates are down nearly 60% from where they were just a few years ago.  Surprisingly, the B2B Lead Blog also reported that only 15% of marketers rated mobile marketing as being “very effective” for lead generation while another 15% claimed that it’s “not effective at all.”

Makes you want to rethink which trends you’re following doesn’t it? So let’s talk about the smart way to spend your marketing budget…

Follow Results, Not Trends

Mitch Meyerson, author of “Mastering Online Marketing,” said that “one is always the worst number in marketing.” In other words, you shouldn’t dump all your money into online marketing assuming that offline marketing is out of date. It’s not.  People just happen to be caught up in the gold rush mentality when it comes to online marketing…as if the .com boom was still going strong.

81% of modern businesses are depending on email marketing as their primary source of lead generation (source: MarketingSherpa). There’s also a lot of hype surrounding mobile marketing these days, and for good reason. But how much of it is hype and how much of it is valid? We all know that trends can create an irrational sense of value.

Marketers see a new trend, and they all have to jump on board with it. Sometimes, the new trend isn’t even relevant to their business, but they do it because everyone else is.

This is NOT to say that mobile marketing and email marketing aren’t important. But these stats should be a warning to anyone who’s got thousands of dollars in their sweaty palm, ready to dish it out for the fancy new $10,000 mobile site and mail autoresponder series.

Stop and ask yourself what’s really working before you spend your money. Don’t follow the trends, follow the money. Create a marketing strategy that uses a healthy balance of email, SEO, social media and direct mail and don’t get distracted by trends. Here at MSI, we are constantly educating our customers about the types of marketing they should be doing and the best way to diversify marketing budgets.

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