Direct Mail—A Novel Marketing Tool?

Last week I received a very nice marketing piece in the mail promoting Yahoo’s online advertising services that got me thinking about this. Direct mail has been grouped into the list of media that will be going away because of everything online. While the death of all traditional media has been greatly exaggerated, direct mail is definitely doing well. There are good reasons why one of the world’s largest online advertising providers is using direct mail in their business development strategy.

Direct mail has the advantage over email marketing in that people know each piece costs something to send. If you’re sending direct mail, you’re likely a real company with a real product or service.

Industry surveys and our own experience show that direct mail is working as well as ever. An interesting twist reported in one study is that younger people, who are constantly bombarded by online and inbox solicitations of all kinds, find a printed piece in the mail to be novel and interesting.

A study by the Envelope Manufacturers Association Foundation reports that 75 percent of respondents said they were more likely to pay attention to direct mail—which was three times more than unsolicited e-mail, Internet pop-up ads, telemarketing calls, door-to-door marketing, or mobile phone messages combined.

It may not sound as cool as RSS feeds or mobile phone apps, but direct mail works.


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