What’s the Value of Direct Mail in 2023?

Illustration of a few people surrounded by floating envelopes

The Tried-and-True Marketing Method that Continues to Yield High ROI

Over the past few years, we’ve seen several new direct marketing practices that have added to its effectiveness and use-cases. Because of this, direct mail has stayed tried-and-true and has continued to yield high ROI – making it a tactic that’s always important and powerful. When well-crafted mail is sent out efficiently, at the right time, and to the right audience, it can be a fantastic tool to aid your business in customer retention and acquisition – regardless of their age or other demographic descriptors. Let’s explore how direct mail holds an immense amount of value for people of all generations.

Direct Mail Response Rates are Higher than Just Digital Alone

With 4 out of 5 American consumers expecting coupons in their mailboxes, it’s important to ensure that your mail is effective and well-created to put value in the hands of those ready to buy. In fact, we’re currently seeing a response rate for direct mail that’s up to 9 times higher than other mediums. With 73% of American consumers saying they actually prefer direct mail, we can examine, by generation, just how powerful it is.

Direct Mail for Baby Boomers

The USPS found that Baby Boomers, more than any other generation, would be “very disappointed” if they stopped getting mail. They trust direct mail more than other marketing channels, and 71% believe that direct mail feels significantly more personal than digital communications. Boomers’ engagement with large national business mailers is at 92% for mail and only 81% for email. Be direct with your messaging, explain why recipients should respond to your offer, and see results flow in.

Direct Mail for Gen X

When marketing to Gen X, keep in mind is that they “grew up receiving pen pal letters, birthday cards, and college acceptance packages.” Their mail always came with an air of excitement, and research shows that direct mail continues to excite this group. A whopping 70% of Gen X still loves to discover what the mail brings every day. Their engagement rate with mail from large businesses is still at a high 90%, so make sure you keep your mail in front of them, if they’re your target market.

Direct Mail for Millennials

Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, were born and grew up in the age of the internet and personal computers. This lends itself to the stereotype that they’re more familiar with technology and may be turned off by physical, direct mail. However, that’s not the case. We see that “…millennials – also known as Gen Y – have the strongest opinions and feelings about direct mail.” With that said, Millennials have reported that sorting through mail can evoke some feelings of anxiety or stress, so make sure your Gen Y-targeted direct mail pieces are easy to read, visually appealing, and have an air of simplicity. Their engagement with mail from large businesses is also at 90%. Overall, the best way to connect with this age group is at various points in their buying journey, by utilizing both print and digital through a multichannel marketing campaign.

Direct Mail for Gen Z

The final generation we’re looking at is Gen Z. This group is coming of age, and they bring their own individual feelings towards direct mail. Even though they’re extremely tech savvy, 72% would be disappointed if they no longer received mail. They’re less likely to read a catalog, but they do interact more often with marketing mail as opposed to marketing email or text. What they love about “mail [is that it] has the unique ability to appeal to their creative side.” This group values unique shapes, bold colors, and recyclable options. Eco conscious and eco-friendly, you can better engage with and leave an impact on Gen-Zers if your mail’s printed on eco paper in unique shapes, bold colors, and with an attention to typography. They value authentic and inclusive messaging, so make sure to be strategic, genuine, and deliberate with your imagery and content.

The Digital Marketplace is Over-Saturated

In the age of technology, people are constantly bombarded with information. With people receiving 36 emails to every 1 piece of mail, direct mail continues to be a refreshing change in pace and provides an opportunity for them to connect with something tangible. Combining direct mail with digital yields even more power and, as we’ve noted before, better responses and results.

Physical Mail Has a Longer Lifespan

Even if you don’t necessarily read the mail, you still have to touch it, glance at it, and decide whether it’s worth your time or if it can just be thrown away. This holds high contrast to ads, social media, emails and other digital mediums, which can all be blocked, sent to spam, or simply scrolled past. Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails.  And, the average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, while direct mail’s average lifespan is 17 days! Still, not all mail is created equal. There’s a big difference between direct mail and junk mail – so if you’re not sure what that difference is, give the linked blog a quick read.

We know that direct mail really works. Looking to send out well-crafted, timely, and results-driven direct mail in 2023? Give us a call or learn more here.

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