With every new digital platform, industry experts have predicted the demise of postal mail and direct mail marketing, but time and time again those experts have been proven wrong. Now that the 21st century is well underway, it is clearer than ever before that direct mail marketing is alive and well. In fact, direct mail marketing outperforms digital platforms, getting real results and providing a cost effective form of advertising for businesses of all sizes.
The continuing outperformance of direct mail is not merely a matter of opinion. A study conducted by the Direct Marketing Association found that the response rate for direct mail exceeded that of all digital channels, making it a far more effective form of advertising across the board.
That report found that the response rates were not even close. Direct mail had a strong 3.7 percent response rate using a house list and a 1 percent response rate even with nothing more than a prospect list. Digital platforms performed much more poorly, with a low 0.2 percent response rate for mobile, a 0.1 percent response rate for email using a prospect list and the same low 0.1 percent response rate with a house/total list.
Social media had the same dismal 0.1 response rate, while paid search managed just 0.1 percent and display advertising performed worst of all, with a response rate of just 0.02 percent.
Overall combined digital channels achieved a response rate of just 0.62 percent, far below the 1 to 3 percent response rate for tried-and-true direct mail marketing. With so many advantages it is clear why so many companies are sticking to what they know and sticking with the power of direct mail marketing.