Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Direct Mail Still Has the Juice!" reviews the potency of direct mail marketing during COVID-19. In the event you're unaware, direct mail marketing campaigns are now more popular across every demographic. Due to prospects and customers that are opting to stay home or who are under quarantine, marketers and brands have the opportunity to reach folks that are in a captive environment. It's akin to "low hanging fruit," as many sales managers like to state. That said, many businesses are looking to email marketing as a quick way to communicate messages. However, with more email marketing hitting the inbox, the sheer volume dictates that many email marketing messages will go unread. Conversely, among the quarantined and homebound are people who look forward to receiving physical mail.
Naturally, there may be concern about the safety of sending or receiving direct mail during COVID; however, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have both stated that physical mail is "relatively safe." Keep in mind that while the risk of infection is low, it is not impossible. Therefore, it is a good idea to wipe down your mail before bringing it into your domicile, and always wear gloves while retrieving it from the mailbox. The USPS also practices its safeguards.
Quote of the Day: "Marketing is telling the world you're a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one." - Robert Rose
Direct Mail by the Numbers
Direct mail marketing has come a long way thanks to new digital technologies that allow digital print presses to communicate digitally fed data, copy, and graphics, albeit via computers and coding. A brand can send direct mail pieces with personalized attributes to a single person from a database designation, or a demographic group, containing their specific data collection points in its purest form. As a result, direct mail marketing can resonate better as it is now more personal and contains relevant information the recipient will find valuable. That said, let's look at some numbers that support why direct mail marketing still has the juice.
Checking the Mail
According to Gallup, 41%of Americans across all age groups anticipate and look forward to checking their mail every day. Typically, most brands believe that older generations are more likely to admit they enjoy receiving mail. However, new numbers indicate that 36% of those Americans under 30 feel the same way.
Besides the anticipation of mail arriving, there is another valuable asset that mail provides. Unlike most marketing mediums that have a minimal shelf life, direct mail has risen. Whereas newspapers and magazines are continuing to experience shorter shelf life, the mail is increasing. According to smallbizgenius.net, people keep mail for 17 days before disposing of it. Imagine having your message in households and offices for two weeks and three days on average. Many readers have access to that information during that timeframe, especially in business places such as doctor's offices, automotive dealers, and other professional establishments.
The Direct Mail Industry
Many statistics relate to the mailing industry, including how divergent industries use mail, direct mail marketing strategies, competitive assertions, ideal targets, and select demographics. That said, a recent USPS Mail Use and Attitudes Report suggests that the direct mail industry accounts for nearly 60% of US household mail.
Direct Mail Households
Americans of all ages enjoy receiving mail. An interesting comparison is the amount of mail a household receives versus the number of emails an individual gets. On average, US households receive 454 pieces of marketing mail annually, including 92 pieces from the nonprofit sector. On average, workers receive approximately 125 emails per day, although this number varies by work title and industry. Compare these numbers to the 2.9 billion emails sent every day.
Marketing does not work unless there is a response to the advertising message. Response rates are generally immediate and short term. Unless the brand is conducting a branding campaign, which is not directly associated with response rates, someone can corral responses within a branding campaign. According to the DMA Response Rate Report, the household list response rate clocked in at 9% in 2018, up from 5.1% in 2017. The prospect list response rate in lockstep nearly doubled from 2.9% in 2017 to 5% in 2018. Keep in mind that engagement with physical mail increases for Gen Xers who have children; Boomers who enjoy direct mail's tangible nature; and, Millennials who engage with both digital and physical mail.
More Numbers That Pump Up the Juice
Letter-sized direct mail outshines lead generation numbers at a 15.1% response rate according to the 2018 DMA Response Rate Report.
Other findings in the report illustrate that certain industries perform well with direct mail. They include Travel and Hospitality at 80%, Nonprofit at 75%, Publishing Media at 71%, Financial Services-Banks/Credit at 67%, and Healthcare at 63%.
All in, oversized envelopes fair the highest response rate at 5%, followed by Postcards at 4.25%, dimensional mailers at 4%, and lastly, catalogs at 3.9%. Direct mail letter-sized envelops also came in at 3.9%, according to the Data & Marketing Association.
Google search is a popular place to learn about and discover new products. However, catalog reception via the mail is appreciated by consumers and clocks in at 59%, meaning six in 10 Americans receiving catalogs state that they enjoy discovering new products in this manner according to Epsilon's Direct Mail Advertising Statistics.
73% of American consumers state they prefer brands to contact them via direct mail with the ability to review the information at their leisure, according to Epsilon. Lastly, according to USPS, 60% of catalog recipients visit the company's website that mailed the catalog.
As we navigate through the challenges of disseminating information and communicating with messages during a pandemic, it is clear that direct mail marketing has the juice. Direct mail marketing ensures that both the quarantined and voluntary stay-at-home recipients receive the mail pieces and read them in their space, unburdened with the onslaught of emails or social media.
Before we depart, we want to offer our support and thanks to the first responders, doctors, nurses, and all those who are making contributions to help navigate the perils of this pandemic. Thanks for reading "Direct Mail Still Has the Juice!"
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