Direct mail provides ’solid ROI’

Posted by on 17 Sep 2010 | Category: Industry Trends

by Mark Haslan

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Though businesses now have more communication channels to reach consumers than ever before, marketing expert David Jackson recently argued on Promotion World that direct mail marketing is still an effective way to generate sales.

Jackson asserts that a properly executed direct mail campaign still provides a "solid return on investment." Citing a recent study conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, he says that direct mail marketing expenditures are expected to increase by more than $1 billion during 2010.

Consumers are also eagerly welcoming the influx of mailers. Referring to the same study, Jackson claims 79 percent of U.S. households either completely read or skim through direct mail messages sent to their homes. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by postal automation firm Pitney Bowes found that consumers still prefer physical mail over digital communication channels, relays the source.

Consumers are especially accepting of postal messages containing confidential statements or new product announcements. Jackson writes that

  • 73 percent of respondents prefer direct mail to receive information about new items,
  • while 86 percent would rather receive private communications through postal mail.
  • In both cases, consumers reveal a strong preference for postal messages over digital mail.

Pitney Bowes’ survey also indicates that

  • 31 percent of mail recipients tend not to throw away unopened postal messages, ranging from brochures to envelopes,
  • whereas 53 percent are likely to delete unopened email messages.

Additionally, many consumers find direct mail to be less intrusive than unsolicited emails and phone calls.

  • Nearly half of respondents (43.2 percent) said direct mail was more convenient,
  • while 30.2 percent indicated the sales environment was less high pressured.
  • This translated into greater responses overall, with 12 percent claiming direct mail was more persuasive.

"If you haven’t considered trying direct mail, maybe you should. A properly executed direct mail campaign combined with online marketing methods could be an unbeatable combination," Jackson wrote.

The effectiveness of direct mail marketing has caused many businesses to adopt the channel. According to a recent report from the Global Insight Analysts, direct mail expenditures are expected to hit $25.45 billion globally by 2015. The firm cites direct mail’s physical presence as its biggest selling point, especially in comparison to digital channels.

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