Direct Mail Marketing

What’s Old is New Again: The Resurgence of Direct Mail Marketing

by Chelsea Barone

There’s no arguing that email, the internet and SMS adoption completely changed the way marketers approach their target audiences. But consumer attitudes are changing and bombarding a person with spam email or pop-up ads is no longer an effective way to market, especially because a customer can pretty much opt to shut off those means of communication with whomever they choose.

Instead, we’re seeing a rebirth of appreciation for direct mail marketing. According to a recent article on Marketplace, marketers spent $44.9 billion on direct mail campaigns in 2016. Marketers are seeing success here because of that power dynamic where consumers can easily choose to ignore or block unwanted advertisements on the internet or in their inboxes. But almost everyone goes to get their mail on a daily basis, and it can’t simply be ignored. They have to make a conscious decision to keep or toss items in their mailbox.

There’s also something to be said about the effects of tactile marketing materials compared to seemingly less personal virtual marketing. Something you can touch and feel – or even smell or taste sometimes! – is likely to have a more memorable impact on your target audience.

Direct mail marketing campaigns are not what they used to be either: boring coupon packets or postcards with a call to action on them. Your company’s story and mission can be conveyed in a more compelling way than a simple flyer or coupon booklet. That opportunity to directly connect with your customer in a unique way should not be underestimated.

And on top of proactively building your brand awareness, companies are seeing actual conversion with programs like paper coupons. That article on Marketplace referenced a finding from Valassis’ annual report stating that nearly 90 percent of millennials use paper coupons they get in the mail. “Paper feels special again. And having a tangible presence can be especially helpful for brands that started online.”

This resurgence of more “old school” marketing tactics has advantages that were nowhere near possible during their first go-round. With the help of AI and big data analytics, hyper-personalization at a massive scale is actually possible and budget-friendly for marketers, ensuring better conversion rates and increased brand loyalty as a result.

To see a strong example of direct mail marketing options, check out what Pitney Bowes Software has to offer.