10 Statistics That Prove You Should Use Direct Mail Marketing

Statistics. We all know that statistics can be skewed to demonstrate the point we are trying to make. But if your business goal is to attract more attention and ultimately do more business while providing great service, then you should read on, because these statistics can't be ignored.

There are many reasons why 81% of professionals surveyed plan to maintain or increase their usage of direct mail this year. Here's 10 of them:

1. Direct mail is more memorable than digital media

This means direct mail will keep you top of mind more than email will. This is because digital media requires 21% more cognitive effort just to process the information, while the tangible aspect of direct mail leaves "a deeper footprint in the brain." It "involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations." In short, direct mail is easier to understand and more memorable.

2. People trust direct mail more than digital media

We all do business with brands that we like and trust. The stronger the connection, the more likely we are to do business with that company - even if the product has a higher price point than competitors. A study by MarketingSherpa found that 76% of all consumers trust direct mail when they want to make a purchase decision. Although older people trust direct mail more - even above the recommendations of family and friends - the same survey found that even Millennials (a whopping 70%) trust direct mail.

3. They trust it, because direct mail is more persuasive

Diana Lucaci, founder of True Impact Marketing, said that a "2% to 5% positive difference is a predictive indicator of future behavioral change." Why does this matter? Because direct mail's motivation response isn't just 2%, or even 5%, higher than digital media. Direct mail's motivation response is 20% higher, which means it is significantly more persuasive than digital! In fact, 74% of people actually feel overwhelmed by email and completely distrust pop-up ads. That's rough.

4. Persuasiveness make direct mail really good at sales

A MarketingCharts study found direct mail to be the top purchase influencer among Baby Boomers. In fact, it has such an impact, that it's even more influential than recommendations from family and friends. And we all know how valuable recommendations are!

5. Direct mail allows you to target a broader audience

Sure you can blanket an entire area using USPS's Every Door Direct mail service, but that's not quite what we're talking about here. According to the Pew Research Center only 2/3 of seniors (as in those most concerned with retirement and long-term care right now) even have internet. And only half of those with internet actually use social media. Without direct mail, it's impossible to reach an entire group of people.

6. ...And target a more targeted audience

The targeting capability of direct mail is one of the primary reasons it's so successful as a marketing medium. There's a rule in direct marketing called the 40/40/20 rule. It says that (at least) 40% of your marketing campaign's success comes from your targeted mailing list, 40% from the offer, and 20% from the creativeness of the piece. Which leads us to #7.

7. Direct mail allows you to be more creative in your marketing...

Direct mail marketing can take the form of a greeting card or brochure, eye-catching postcard, or even a simple handwritten note. Even your choice of paper can make a statement; high gloss, textured, recycled...all available in a large array of colors. Campaigns can include small tokens or even large gifts. The messaging and presentation of each piece you send can engage your audience and capture their attention, as well as their imagination.

8. Which could be why direct mail has a higher response rate than digital direct marketing

Mail generates "more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater 'internalization' of the ads." When you add together increased emotions, creativity, persuasiveness and memorability, it's no surprise that direct mail's response rate is 5-9x greater than email, paid searches and social media.

9. Direct mail has a greater value than digital media

In a neuroscience study conducted by the U.S. Postal Service and Temple University, postcards beat out emails in desirability and valuation (among other areas). Because of the time involved in putting together a postal mailing piece, as well as the tangible nature of postal mail as opposed to email, consumers give a higher value to this marketing medium.

10. Direct mail increases the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns

If you want your marketing to have a real "one, two punch," try combining direct mail with digital media. A recent study found that brand recall was over 40% higher when direct mail followed email! By using each medium in different ways, you can maximize the benefits of each.

Direct mail is such a powerful marketing tool, it would be a shame to miss out on all the benefits. Our automated direct mail products, such as our 24 Touch Program will help you reap the benefits of direct mail without the added time commitment on top of your already full workload. And if you're still curious about direct mail, check out all our sources below to read more!


ANA/DMA Response Rate Report 2018

"Using Neuroscience to Understand the Role of Direct Mail,” Millward Brown and Bangor University

"A Bias for Action," Canada Post

MarketingCharts Study

Direct Mail A Top Purchase Influencer For Baby Boomers

MarketingSherpa Study

Data Targeting Solutions Report

Canadian Study