To demonstrate why direct mail packs such a “powerful punch” in today’s marketing landscape, three universal truths about Direct Mail have been identified by Howard Draft, CEO of Draft, the global marketing services agency whose clients include some of the country’s largest users of direct mail, such as Verizon, Bank of America, and the United States Postal Service.
1. Invitation beats intrusion
Consumers have made it abundantly clear that the best way to capture their attention and loyalty is through invitation, not intrusion. Direct Mail is inviting, not intrusive. Over half of all adults say they prefer to receive advertising and promotional material through the mail, according to the Direct Marketing Association. With mail, consumers decide when they want to take in information, on their schedule.
2. The Internet is not direct mail’s enemy
Mail and the Web create a powerful bond with the consumer, stronger than either can do separately. Almost 1/3 of people surveyed said they respond to direct mail by going online, according to the DMA. And the USPS reports that almost a quarter of respondents said they visited a website specifically because they received mail from that retailer. Pointing to the growth in online catalog sales as well as the increase in high-speed internet subscribers resulting in more shoppers enjoying faster, easier buying experiences, Draft argued that “within 5 to 10 years, these two media will dominate the landscape, specifically because of their special relationship to each other and because other media will continue to fade in power.”
3. “Mail moments” are powerful
In today’s world, the “mail moment” (that time people take each day to go through their mail) makes a connection like no other. “People are starved for something real,” said Draft. “Because of the digital world most of us live in, people are hungry for something permanent. People are open, eager, and waiting to get some tangible form of communication in their hands.” Meanwhile, direct marketers, aided by database mining and segmentation, are better than ever at choosing who should get their message. The challenge to marketers is to leverage people’s need for mail in the digital world and to own mail moments from the beginning (when an offer is made) to the end (when it is delivered). Looking forward, Draft pointed to the expanding use of direct mail by small businesses, pharmaceutical firms, business-to-business marketers, multicultural marketers, and emerging markets, all of which will drive direct mail usage.