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Why Using Direct Mail Matters In 2021

Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Why Using Direct Mail Matters In 2021," can help circumvent pandemic-related sales issues and also serve as a reminder of how impactful direct mail marketing is today.  No doubt, if you're asking what your brand includes in its marketing mix, you would probably tick off social media channels, influencer marketing, email marketing, Amazon, paid search, blogs, and videos, right?  Most answers indicate that direct mail marketing fails to make the marketing mix list and is viewed more often than not as an afterthought. Recent data dispels the notion that direct mail marketing is old school, but moreover, it offers compelling evidence that signifies that reaching people where they are genuinely matters. In this case, more people are either working from home or voluntarily staying at home as much as possible.  When you factor in the ongoing marketing challenges brought forward by the pandemic, you may want to revisit the idea of integrating direct mail marketing into your marketing mix.

Our Quote of the Day:  "Increasingly, the mass marketing is turning into a mass of niches."

— Chris Anderson

Irrefutable Direct Mail Data

Did you know that last year, in 2020, direct mail produced some of the highest response rates, which in some cases drove the ROI above 500%? Many data mining organizations that survey and track marketing results have alluded to that fact. Marketing digital expert and best-selling author Neil Patel lauds direct mail marketing campaigns as having a higher ROI. A higher ROI well above paid search and online display advertising.

As we point out the importance of being able to reach customers and prospects where they are, the following data points suggest how effective direct mail marketing is right now:

  • The response rates for direct mail can be up to nine times greater than email marketing results. (Data & Marketing Association)
  • When asked, "Which is more effective at getting you to take action?" 30% of millennials stated direct mail, while just 24% said email. (DMN)
  • Reaching close to 90% of direct mail gets opened compared to just 20-30% of emails. (DMN)

Given that the Covid-19 pandemic shut down brick and mortar and forced many people back into their homes, marketers need a way to reach the unreachable. We have read from recent reports that more than 15 million workers and counting have quit their jobs since April 2021. The count continues as more opt to leave the comfort of an 8-hour day searching for a work-life balance.  For most, that means finding a job that will allow them to work from home. To that end, the marketing mix is evolving, and we are experiencing a shift that includes iconic brands, such as Bed Bath Beyond, Apple, Target, Amazon, and Sprig, and others now including direct mail marketing into their marketing mix.

Are You Aware of Technology Advancements?

Many businesses and CEOs are not aware of the technological advancements in the print world over the past ten years. Technology spans every industry sector, and that includes print.

The 100% customer participation challenge is always front and center for any marketing effort. To that end, reaching them at the right time with highly personalized communications is where the rubber meets the road. Sure, you can contact them online, but now direct mail marketing experts are using innovative technologies to accomplish what digital can't do. Place a tactile message into the consumer's hands that resonate, is recognizable, remembered, and more often than not, relevant. Further, technology has enabled marketers to revamp the process and streamline that process for greater efficiency and reduced costs. The "more" part of this equation is that direct mail offers something digital cannot, and that is the tactile feel of a printed product message that leaps into the real world or, should we say, into the hands of the consumer.

Automated Customer Review Process

You may remember how cumbersome the process was to ensure that customer data, addresses, salutation, and history were manually dealt with, which as a result, could waste time and resources. The challenge back then was the ability to clean the data list, which had to be done before assembling the creative pieces of the campaign.

Today, advanced technology has reduced the time and resources required to ensure the data list is accurate and passes the mailto authorization. In addition, money can be saved and not wasted by avoiding sending direct mail pieces to incorrect addresses.

Automation Reduces Internal Workload

Previously, direct mail marketing campaigns were handled in-house by the brand and thus required a set of team members to manage and execute the entire direct mail process, right down to delivering the final creative pieces to a printing vendor for printing and then mailing. In some cases, the printer then had to send the printed collateral back to the business to deliver to the mail providers, such as UPS, Fed Ex, or the USPS.

Technology advancements that bring automation processes to bear have shortened the long internal process. Direct mail marketing vendors and full-service mail/print solution providers have shortened the cycle. They have the print and mail tools, processes, and automated solutions to manage and execute the final delivery, including mailing, tracking, and delivery confirmation. Solution providers alleviate the need for the brand to grapple with the entire direct mail campaign process.  Further, new software technology allows print vendors to create cloud portals. Organizations can upload data, lists, and collateral for improved efficiencies, which accelerates job turnaround times.

Better Customization

Think again if you may think that direct mail marketing efforts are nothing more than the "mass mailers" of yesterday. We are no longer working or living in the Jurassic age. The former mass mailing tools contained extremely little personalization, if any, except for the inclusion of the first name. Precise niche targeting was out of the question during those "Jurassic mass mailing" timeframes. That Jurassic mindset is a big reason the perception of today's direct mail marketing has not found a higher value proposition.

Again, technological advancements have provided a methodology that ensures customized content is more affordable and easier to complete. Mail content is now dynamic and offers organizations the opportunity to deliver highly personalized messaging to customers and prospects alike.

Now, organizations can personalize data based on age, specific preferences, purchasing history, homeownership, household income, education levels, ethnicity, travel habits, automobile ownership, insurance, healthcare status, and the list goes on.

The most important takeaway is that the internal marketing teams are no longer required to spend so much valuable time creating individualized, personalized campaigns.

Improved Strategic Timelines 

Many years ago, people were asking, "Can direct mail marketing deliver timely messages, content, or packages to the intended targets?" The answer might have fallen between blurred lines. However, the answer to that question today is a resounding "YES." Today's direct mail marketing abilities provide for intentional, trigger-based marketing.

Like digital channels and automated email triggers, direct mail marketers can create triggers that target customers at precisely the right time when making a purchase decision. Marketers can create triggers across a wide berth of circumstances such as purchase history, upcoming events, situational targeting, previous interest, and more.

Email marketing is known for triggering bounce-backs, unopened or unresponsive opens. The challenge here is that only 20-30% of emails get opened at the onset. Conversely, you could opt to add a direct mail marketing piece that would improve the open, read, and response rates, leading to an improvement in purchasing follow-throughs.

The Net-Net

Over the past decade, marketers and brands have shunned traditional marketing channels, including direct mail marketing. Of course, this is no surprise. After all, digital marketing has enjoyed a considerable lift given the number of social media channels, automated technology, email marketing, and videos. However, all of these digital footprints can benefit from direct mail marketing in a world that seems to be all digital.

That said, the digital conundrum is the mix of new privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and a cookie-less digital environment. These new regulations will impose restrictions on automated email filtering. These restrictions reduce digital reach, increase competition, and most notably, drive an increase in the cost of digital advertising. Brands and marketers are now rethinking investing and participating in channels across a spectrum to ensure that their reach is effective. To that end, direct mail marketing can reach more where today's digital media are becoming more challenging. Direct mail marketing can also reach parts of the populace that are in remote areas. Thanks for reading "Why Using Direct Mail Matters In 2021!"

Let's talk about integrated business solutions and how they can move your messages forward, help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct has an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices to save you time and money. We can even create a demo file for you. For more information, call
 Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 
Dove Direct, your Atlanta vertical integrated print and mail solutions provider, offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions: 

  • Data Management
  • Variable Digital/Data Printing
  • LetterShop and Fulfillment 
  • Digital Mail Scanning Services
  • Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau
  • Marketing and Production Management Support
  • Secure Data Life Cycle Management

If you don't want to wait, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or completing the Contact Form.

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