Monday, April 20, 2009

The Death of Direct Mail?

If Mark Twain famously wrote that "rumors of my death are highly exaggerated" much the same can be said of direct mail marketing. Just look at these new statistics:

Nearly 40% of American consumers have tried a new business because of information they received from that business via direct mail. (
DMNews/Pitney Bowes survey)

That same survey also disclosed that nearly 70% of consumers have renewed a relationship with a business because they received direct mail from that business.

And if having those overwhelming figures in your favor isn't enough, consider this:

* Most consumers say they prefer mail as the delivery method for "must-read" documents. (infoPrint Solutions)

So if you are not considering incorporating
direct mail marketing into your marketing plans, then you are missing a real opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. That means lost opportunity for you. And lost opportunity = fewer $$. Fewer $$ means...well, you get the picture.

Consider this: despite the current economy, 29% of marketing professionals indicate they are increasing their 2009 marketing budgets. More than 40% say they are maintaining their 2008 budget levels. So that's almost 70% of marketing pros maintaining or increasing marketing dollars.

The pros know. Direct marketing is good for business.

Trim your marketing spending by even a smidgeon, and it can cost you big. The now-classic textbook case of
Kmart proves the point.

In the 2001 recession, Kmart cut marketing slightly for two months in the early fall. In month 1 of the cutback, Kmart sales dropped by an astounding 5%, costing them more in sales than they saved by trimming back on the marketing budget. Management quickly reversed the decision and put bucks back into the marketing budget.

Need more proof of the vitality of direct mail marketing? Here you go....

Can you guess what is the most dependable, most
response-trackable media? You got it: Direct Mail. Only direct mail can tell you exactly how many pieces you mailed to generate a specific response.

TV can deliver "eyeballs" but those eyeballs are often snoozing in front of the tube. Radio brings "ears" but those ears may be tuning out your message. Newspapers are losing so much marketshare that they are shutting down. On-line ads are annoying, expensive, and/or ignorable. Only direct mail requires that you interact with it.

When someone gets direct mail, he has to make a conscious decision to read it or toss it. He can't just ignore it. That split second as he makes his read-it-or-toss-it decision gives you, the marketer, a little window of opportunity to get your message across.

It's a tiny window, but it's often enough. When 40% of the American public says direct mail influences their buying patterns, you've just got to go with the flow. Ignore direct mail at your own financial peril.

Need help with your direct mail marketing? Consult with a professional like Paul&Partners. We'll help you navigate the postal regulations to ensure you get the best postage rate available to you. We'll help you design a package that is the right one for you and your budget.

Check us out at Let us know how we can help make your next marketing program more successful.

43670 Trade Center Place, Suite 150, Dulles, VA 20166
Phone: 703.996.0800 Fax: 703.996.0888 1.866.365.2858 sales@paulandpartners

1 comment:

owenmunger said...

Social media may be taking a larger role in the direct marketing area. But this doesn't mean that direct mail is dead, it just means companies need to find better ways of operating direct mail. One great way to do so is get well-researched mailing lists that will produce better results. Too many companies just pick an area and send out their direct mail, with better information you can make smarter decisions of where to market.