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Are you not direct mailing yet? 4 reasons you should be!

Commercial printing Are you not direct mailing yet? 4 reasons you should be!


by Dimitri Van Gaever

Direct mailing may be one of the oldest forms of marketing, but it is still very much alive and kicking. Because who doesn’t like to get mail, right? Mind you, we’re not talking about bulk mailings or old-fashioned sales letters here. This article is about highly personalized mail, and why every company, no matter their sector, should be incorporating direct mailing into their marketing mix.

4 reasons you should be direct mailing

1.Direct mailing provides great ROI

Direct mailing is one of the most effective ways for brands to reach their customers, raise brand awareness and lift sales. It’s even the most likely form of marketing communication to get customers to respond. Don’t believe us? The ROI speaks for itself! For starters, a 2015 DMA Response Rate Report concluded that direct mailing campaigns’ average ROI beats that of all digital marketing channels by no less than 600 percent. That’s right. Additionally:

  • According to the DMA, consumers who opened a direct mail piece are on average four times more likely to convert.

  • Numbers published by the DMA indicate the average ROI of direct mail to be equal to that of social media (somewhere between 15 and 17 percent).

  • Campaigns including direct mail are three times as efficient as campaigns without. (Royal Mail Market Search, IPA databank Meta-Analyse Peter Field, 2013).

  • Infotrends says in Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services that 70 percent of all direct mail in 2015 was opened.

  • Infotrends mentioned in the same report that 79 percent of all opened direct mail was read for at least one minute.

  • Of all direct mail opened, Print Power states that between 54 and 83 percent (depending on the recipient’s relationship with the sender) lead the recipient to convert.

2. Direct mailing offers a sensory experience

The explanation behind those whopping numbers? It’s something called embodied cognition. Both visual and tangible, direct mail pieces trigger multiple senses at the same time, which is known to make people absorb information more quickly. Academic research (Royal Mail Market Search, Neuro-Insight 2013) has also proved that direct mail recipients experience content more emotionally intense than via email or TV. Direct mailing, in other words, imprints on the consumer’s memory:

  • 80 percent of direct mail recipients say they remember direct mail sent to them in the last 4 weeks (TGI Kantar Media, 2014).

Creating the Tomorrowland experience

The tickets Tomorrowland fans receive in the mail are a great example of direct mail playing on emotional experience. Instead of simply sending festivalgoers their tickets via email, the organizers of the internationally renowned electronic music festival purposely choose to have them printed – with stunning results year after year – and sent out via regular mail, making the tickets an integral part of the legendary Tomorrowland experience.

3. Direct mailing gets personal

Another important reason why direct mailing campaigns are such a successful marketing tool these days are the extensive possibilities for personalization [WVL4] they offer. Or, better said, the possibilities offered by variable data printing. This type of digital printing technology enables printers to produce virtually endless amounts of unique, personalized direct mails all in one run. Common areas on the prints are usually printed offset, after which a digital process fills in the remaining gaps. This is where a press like the Xeikon X-800 comes in handy.

4. It’s the right mail at the right moment

Provided marketers have extensive databases at their disposal and take maximum advantage of them, direct mail pieces are not only highly personalized but also arrive at exactly the right moment in the customer journey. It might read, for instance:

“Congratulations on your Xth birthday, recipient Y! Don’t forget to use this € amount gift voucher for your next purchase. By the way, your previously bought item is about to run out, so don’t forget to stock up.”

Now that’s marketing automation at its best!