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Report: How Direct Mail is a Differentiator in Today’s Marketing

Digital Marketing has been tested and proven, but we’re seeing more and more that direct mail integration into campaigns makes the difference. Researchers took this question to task in a new study, and the data shows that reaching the customer at the mailbox can be a key factor in closing sales- especially with online marketing collaboration.

The benchmark study on multi-channel marketing by Demand Metric, “Multichannel Marketing Maximizing Program Engagement and ROI” reviewed nearly 600 multi-channel marketing agencies and surveyed their tactics. With almost all of the companies surveyed implementing multiple channels, a wide range of data over time was gathered.

Direct Mail ranked much stronger than some predicted, with some caveats. Personalized direct mail integrated into multimedia campaigns resulted in a 62% increase in ‘good’ or ‘very good’ response rates. 80% reported that Direct Mail improved overall multi-channel campaign performance. Generic direct mail was the least effective, but campaign specific branding with personalization moved it to the second most effective channel.

With effectiveness being measured by impact on response rate and ROI, two tactics- Events and Integrated Direct Mail- most effectively reached the target audience. Those two methods were also in the top three effectiveness for four of the five target audiences- C-suite, Financial, Sales/Marketing teams, End user (technicians was the fifth, i guess engineers still like email). The distinction between multi-channel integrated personalized direct mail and regular direct mail was clear with the latter only outperforming Social Media. See below for the full results:

Direct mail has the reputation of a low-tech channel that was once very relevant but has been eclipsed by more modern digital channels. It’s an understandable assumption but it’s incorrect. In our world, where much of what we receive is in a digital format, the tactile nature of direct mail can register in a way digital media cannot, and including tactile marketing approaches in multi-channel campaigns makes them perform even better.

When we consider the success factors that lead to a strong campaign, they are a combination of different variables fine tuned by marketing experts. Many of these factors are limited by the ad medium- where will this banner ad go, who will open this email, when will my commercial play- but direct mail allows for a very focused and effective pitch. This can be even more true when new data modeling techniques are applied to a list of potential customers to target the most likely candidates. The study's success factor survey clearly indicates the importance of accurate data methods:

The study pursues specific topics deeper, and I recommend anyone to dive in. From a marketer's perspective, it is inexcusable to not be looking at Integrated, Personalized Direct Mail in collaboration with any campaign. Having accurate data working behind your targeting is essential. That's my experience and also what these 600 companies are saying too, have a great day!

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