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2021 USPS Cost Hikes: Is Direct Mail Still Worth It?

Posted by Andrew Wiltz on June 21, 2021

Effective August 29, 2021, many USPS services will see their first significant cost hike since 2019. The cost of a first-class stamp will increase 5.45% (from 55¢ to 58¢), while the cost of a domestic postcard will increase over 11% (from 36¢ to 40¢).  

With the rise in postage costs, you may be asking yourself... “Is direct mail marketing still worth it?” 

The answer is a resounding YES. 

With the rising costs of direct mail, it may seem logical to abandon it altogether in favor of the more affordable digital channels like email, social media and display ads, but the data tells us otherwise. 

Here are 5 reasons why you should not give up on direct mail marketing: 

1. Millennials love mail. 50% of millennials ignore digital ads altogether. That’s because of “ad blindness,” a psychological phenomenon where your brain filters out banner ads on websites and ad noise on social media.  

Meanwhile, a whopping 80% of Millenials are attentive to direct mail. [source] A direct mail ad stands out in a mailbox of just a few items, espeically compared to the onslaught of advertising on the web.  

2. When it comes to response rates, nothing beats direct mail. Direct mail has an overall response rate of 5%, while email, paid search, social media and display ads don’t even break 1%. [source] Basically, if you want results, direct mail is the way to go. 

3. Direct mail gets OPENED. While the average open rate for email across all industries is around 21%, a stunning 70% of direct mail is opened. Better yet, 79% of readers spend a minute or more reading it. In the era of short attention spans, this makes direct mail really stand out. [source] 

4. Direct mail sticks around far longer than digital. While the average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, the average lifespan of a direct mail piece is 17 days. [source] Think about it... that piece of mail sits around on the tabletop for over two weeks. An email that ends up in the trash folder is most likely never seen again. And seeing that ad on the table boosts brand recognition and retention among recipients. 

5. Direct mail is less likely to get lost in the shuffle. On top of the lifespan of direct mail being 17 days, people only get 1 piece of direct mail for every 36 emails they receive (that’s 16.8 pieces of mail vs. 605 emails per week). [source] In this way, it’s more memorable to receive a direct mail piece than an email.  

Of course, direct mail is made even stronger when it’s supported by an omnichannel approach. Creating supporting emails, banner ads, video spots and other marketing materials can increase retention even more. But direct mail is the anchor that holds it all together. And for that reason, it’s worth the investment.

Here’s an example of direct mail campaign that got proven results for our client:  

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J&C is made up of experts in the art and science of customer engagement. If you need help building a successful direct mail campaign, contact J&C today. 

Topics: Direct Marketing, Direct Mail

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