Brand Marketers Still Need the Snail

Brand Marketers Still Need the Snail

As the world spins toward 2014, high tech marketing methods are firmly established as the way to reach modern consumers. Or are they? Guess what’s still moving briskly and proudly through the marketing universe. If you said good ol’ fashioned snail mail, you get the prize. Direct mail pieces zooming to assorted destinations still get jaw-dropping response rates. Much better, in fact, than many of the super-sleek high tech delivery systems.

What the response should be depends on the purpose of the piece. Therefore, it’s important for brand marketers to know why they’re sending what they’re sending — and tailor their messaging accordingly. Those who fail to do so risk squandering small fortunes in advertising dollars on poorly-aimed messages. With that in mind, here are some of the key purposes of direct mail. Knowing them definitely will help marketers sharpen their aim and improve those all-important success stats.

Acquisition. Seeking new customers? Direct mail is the way to go. The vast majority of consumers check for new mail at least once a day. More, if you’re expecting a tax refund. Email doesn’t have anything near that kind of exposure – especially when you consider the easy disposal methods available to recipients. Zap, and it’s in the junk mail folder. So if getting messages opened and viewed is your priority, go with the attention-getting power of the mighty snail.

Email Expansion. Email, of course, still can make an impact. If expanding the email list is a priority, direct mail can provide some muscle. Simply load your paper piece with an irresistible incentive for signing up, and watch the new email addresses come rolling in.

Multi-Touch Marketing. Integrating direct mail with email in a powerful two-front campaign can boost results tremendously. In fact, combining the two will take campaigns much further than using each channel separately. More and more research is substantiating the value of this multi-touch approach. Thus far, there’s no magical formula for achieving the optimum balance. So conduct a few small-scale tests before unleashing the mega-campaign.

National statistics from the 2012 DMA (Direct Marketing Association) reports that the average response rate of 4.4% from direct mail is many times that of email at 1.2% .

Highlights from the study are below:

  • Outbound telemarketing gets the highest response rates
  • Direct mail usually gets the second highest response
  • Multichannel offers the highest response overall
  • Digital gets the highest ROI
  • You need all channels for deep penetration, best market share and advertising dollar maximization

As a general rule, the more expensive the channel, the higher the response rate. Since response rates do not always yield the best ROI, it’s a matter of channel balance.

If you have any questions or comments about optimizing direct mail to promote your brand, or about any brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way. You can connect with the Young Company team at 949-376-8404 #4033 or And be sure to follow us for the latest brand marketing news and tips.