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End This Quarter With A Win

Posted by Brian Jones on October 5, 2023

Don't look now — Q4 is here.

We’re moving into the biggest shopping season of the year – and your holiday shopping campaigns are beginning to take shape. As you know, the fourth quarter is a crucial time for many marketers. This is prime time for brand awareness, acquisition and, of course, driving revenue.

Like many direct marketers, you may default directly to digital channels — but you should know, a major report recently released shows that direct mail may be your best bet going into the last quarter of the year.

The 2023 Direct Mail Marketing Benchmark Report* from Sequel Response looked at the effectiveness of direct mail versus other popular channels. It also includes consumer insights around direct mail sentiment, influence and preferences.

Here are a few of the major findings:


Over 70 percent of respondents saw an increase in direct mail results over the past year. So it’s clear that direct mail is viable channel for drive driving responses.

And nearly 90 percent of those surveyed said they increased or at least maintained their direct mail spend this year — up 3 percent from 2022 data. In fact, direct mail budgets were higher than budgets for SMS/MMS... CTV|OTT...  paid search... programmatic display... and SEO strategies. That says a lot.

Postcards Pulling Their Weight


Seventy-eight percent of consumers said postcards were their favorite mail format. That’s good news because postcards are the fastest and most affordable type of mail to produce. Postcards also come in various sizes and formats, giving you and your creative team flexibility in your direct mail design and messaging. Direct marketers seem interested in testing direct mail automation this year, and postcards seem to be a natural fit for retargeting and retention efforts.

Better yet, postcards are an effective way to get your brand noticed by new customers. Without an outer envelope, your audience is sure to see your brand and offer – and hopefully your CTAs and quick-hitting copy that tells readers exactly how to respond.

Direct Mail Excels As An Acquisition Channel


Direct mail is a customer acquisition powerhouse.

Always has been.

Forty-three percent of direct marketers know this and use it for their acquisition campaigns. Consumers seem to like it, too. They rank direct mail as the second most powerful direct response channel (next to email marketing). And, 40 percent of consumers say they enjoy learning about new brands/products through the mail they get.

When you combine that appetite with highly personalized, relevant and engaging direct mail pieces, you have a winning formula on your hands. Remember to maintain your CRM so it’s clean.  Also, use variable printing when possible and multiple CTAs on the piece.

Mail the Right Number of Touchpoints


How often you send direct mail campaigns is key to your success. Mailing too often can not only backfire on your brand, it can also lead to "blindness" from consumers which tanks response and results — and worse, is a waste of your budget. According to the report, consumers prefer two to three direct mail pieces from a brand in a year.

Establishing a cadence can help with conversions and long-term relationships, too. At the same time, it can provide a competitive edge during the busy fourth quarter. But know that it’s critical to prioritize quality over quantity. Sixty-six percent of consumers dislike low-quality paper/packaging and will see your mail piece (and brand) in a negative light if you go that route.

And finally, but just as important as any other element of your direct marketing strategy (and this really goes without saying), you need to analyze your performance results so you can fine-tune and optimize your message, offer, design and cadence.

Integrating Channels Will Help Your Overall Performance


Digital marketing is everywhere. Use it to your advantage.

16% percent of consumers say they enjoy receiving email, television/streaming video, and text message advertisements. So if you’re going to connect with consumers at the right time in the right place, you need to integrate online and offline channels for maximum effect. In fact, a whopping 90 percent of respondents agreed that combining digital with direct mail positively impacts campaign performance.

By carefully mixing your offline and online offerings, you can drive higher response rates and create a more personal customer experiences — not to mention a positive impression of your brand.

*Source: https://www.sequeldm.com/directmailreport

How To Get Started

Are you looking to improve the results from your next campaign? Run a test? Or maybe you’re looking to increase the performance of a program you’re already running. Well, J&C has over 40 years of experience and would be happy to learn more about your company and your goals. Contact J&C today. That way, we can give you an honest assessment of how we can work with you to achieve better results. 

Topics: Direct Marketing, Direct Mail, Creative

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