The Power of Direct Mail in A Digital World

These days, it seems like just about everything continues to move into the digital sphere, and we’ll soon be living in a paperless world. But that might not be the case at all, especially when it comes to marketing. Could some of the most effective campaigns be spearheaded by…direct mail?

A fascinating Canadian study compared the effects of direct mail marketing directly with email and display ads, evaluating

  • Ease of understanding.
  • Persuasiveness.
  • How long subjects looked at the content. (This was done through both eye-tracking and questionnaires.)

Direct mail’s effectiveness by the numbers.

Research by neuroscientists suggests hard-copy advertisements might connect with our brains more easily, proving easier to mentally process, and also testing more positively for brand recall.

The study found that direct mail requires 21% less brain power to process than digital media, making it both easier to understand and more memorable. When asked to name the brand they’d just seen during a post-exposure memory test, recall was a full 70% higher among those who’d been exposed to a piece of direct mail (75%) than a digital ad (44%).

Why does direct mail have a bigger impact?

It might be as simple as having more time to think about direct mail pieces that cross your path when compared to digital ads. With print advertisements, we’re not anticipating the next click.

Digital ads provide plenty of the algorithmic data that marketers love, but between eye strain, social media interruptions, and competing ads, digital advertising always come with built-in distractions.

On the other hand, when we’re holding a piece of mail in our hands, we’re all but forced to consider each offer we come across. Consumers can choose to toss it into the recycling bin, make a purchase, or something in-between – but they must look at the offer and decide what to do with it.

As a result, far more people can tell you the names of dozens of businesses nearby they might one day choose to enjoy a meal, fix their car, or mow their lawn.

Get creative: the best of both worlds.

Businesses are also fusing their direct mail and digital campaigns by, for example, offering QR codes or personalized URLs on their direct mail pieces. The reader scans the code or visits the URL to reach a targeted landing page with content specific to her needs and interests.

Another trend involves segmenting audiences based on stages in the buying cycle based on information collected online. This makes it possible to deliver direct mail that’s customized to someone’s existing level of knowledge about the product or brand.

Move beyond the envelope.

It’s time to think beyond traditional postcards and letters. Dimensional pieces, as they’re called, stand out from the stack of standard mail pieces and attract attention.

You might create promotional packages that include samples and coupons, or deliver your message in a piece of mail shaped as a model of your core product.

As the advertising innovations continue in our digital world, it’s still not time to discount the power of direct mail.

Here at Full Moon, we create uniquely-designed direct mail postcards and materials, and you help with printing and mailing to make sure you’re taking full advantage of direct mail’s powerful impact. Click here to give us a holler!