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Numbers Don't Lie — AND Here's what they say about direct mail

Posted by Brian Jones on August 6, 2022

A recent report (the State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights, produced by Lob and Comperemedia) shows why direct mail remains a powerful and important part of any successful marketing plan. 

The report surveyed 2,111 consumers age 18+ in the U.S. and asked them about their direct mail preferences, their attitude toward the channel, and how brands that use direct mail are perceived. 

The results confirmed something direct marketers have known for years — consumers still have a strong preference for receiving physical mail. 

Here are some key highlights: 

  • 85% of consumers read direct mail immediately or on the same day they receive it
  • 62% of consumers said a direct mail piece inspired them to take action 
  • Almost 50% of consumers were introduced to new brands via direct mail  
  • 66% of consumers reported they are likely to engage with and act on direct mail from brands they have a relationship with (proof that direct mail plays a key role throughout the entire customer journey) 
  • 51% of all consumers shared direct mail with their friends and/or family 
  • 52% of 18-34 years olds responded to an offer and/or promotion 
  • 58% of 35-54 years olds responded to an offer and/or promotion 
  • 66% of those over 55 responded to an offer and/or promotion 
  • 44% of respondents had a preference for the physical channel over email 
  • 70% opted-in to receive paper statements from brands 
  • Almost 50% of consumers between 18-34 years old agree that direct mail is an important way for brands to build relationships

18% of marketers expect good or very good ROI when they included direct mail in their marketing mix.

What’s more, at a time when marketers are eager to explore new digital ways of reaching customers, direct mail is still proving to be effective. 

Research by PFL found that even during the pandemic, marketers were 18% more likely to see good or very good ROI when they included direct mail in their marketing mix vs. when they did not. 

Likewise, a True Impact Marketing study researched the neurology behind a consumer’s response. Using brain wave scans to record electrical activity, eye-tracking, recall, interest, and preference, the study’s findings were telling: 

  • Direct mail required 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital
  • Direct mail had 75% brand recall versus 44% for digital
  • Direct mail motivation response was 20% higher than digital
  • Results were consistent across all age groups 

And finally, a Royal Mail/MarketReach Study observing and measuring human brain activity, found that,5_5-300x300 compared to email, direct mail had: 

  • 32% greater engagement
  • 22% greater emotional intensity
  • 32% greater long-term memory encoding 

So, while direct mail volume remains in the billions of pieces a year range, the real value of direct mail lies in its effectiveness and results. 

The findings in these reports prove what direct marketers have known all along — personalized, targeted direct mail that is relevant and measurable simply connects on a different and often deeper level with consumers than messages they receive through any other channel. 

Consumers today have a positive perception of direct mail. So, brands that bolster their omnichannel strategy by combining digital with physical components will drive more sales and better ROI.

Direct mail required 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital and had 75% brand recall versus 44% for digital

The bottom line is — direct mail works. The numbers show it and studies prove it again and again — in good economic times and bad. And those who neglect to use it will end up hurting their chances for success. 

So next time you need a reliable way to generate response, turn to the experts who have been using proven techniques to drive immediate, measurable and improved ROI for clients for over 40 years. Contact J&C 

Topics: Direct Marketing, Direct Mail, Creative

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