Why Direct Mail?

Instead of getting lost in the digital inbox, savvy businesses are being discovered in the mailbox. Direct mail marketing gives businesses the opportunity to reach millions of individuals on a more personal level than digital communications can provide. In case you haven’t heard, direct mail is far from dead – it might just be the key to your success.

Direct Mail Works Better Than You Might Think

Forward-thinking businesses and marketers know that direct mail works better than most people assume. The stereotypes about it being ineffective and outdated are totally unfounded and uninformed.

Young People Like It

Many marketers assume that direct mail is just for older generations who haven’t warmed to digital communications – but they couldn’t be more wrong. An astonishing 36 per cent of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking their mailboxes every day, and 95 per cent of 18-to-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters in the mail.


36% of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking their mailboxes every day.


95% of 18-to-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters in the mail.

On top of all that, the response rate to direct mail for people aged 18-21 years old is 12.4 per cent – significantly higher than digital marketing (0.12 per cent).

Canadians Pay Attention To It

Our own research revealed that 74 per cent of Canadian consumers always or sometimes notice advertising in direct mail, 81 per cent read their mail the same day they receive it and 85 per cent will open mail if it looks interesting.

5 Reasons Why Direct Mail Marketing Works

So now you know that direct mail works, but you might be wondering why it works. There are a number of reasons why it’s so successful – here are 5 that stand out:

  • Precision-targeted Reach

    The days of “spray and pray” marketing are numbered. Today, savvy marketers know direct mail can be hyper targeted through demographics and location. It all starts by defining exactly who you want to reach, crafting your content to grab their attention, and honing in on them with a hyper-targeted mailing. Do it right and you can make a big impact for your business – without wasting your resources trying to reach the right consumers. Unlike the digital world of marketing and advertising, there’s virtually no limit to who a business can reach with direct mail. Online advertisements can’t break down some barriers – because who they reach depends largely on the user’s search engine, social media platform and daily usage. Millennials are arguably the most important consumer generation ever, but the most difficult to reach online. Many of them have adopted online ad blockers (two thirds of millennials in the US!), so direct mail presents a great opportunity to hop the fence.

  • High Response Rate

    Direct mail offers an excellent opportunity for engagement with consumers. A good measure of how engaged consumers are is the response rate. Did you know postcard marketing has the highest response rate (4.4 per cent) when compared to digital marketing (0.12 per cent)? This makes direct mail marketing 10-30 times more effective. Did you know postcard marketing has the highest response rate (4.4%) when compared to digital marketing (0.12%)? This makes direct mail marketing 10-30 times more effect. Even U.S. email marketing giant Mailchimp advocates that postcards are a great investment. They’ve launched a postcard marketing program that works with their email marketing program. It’s designed to bolster the email marketing efforts of their customers, helping them reach, engage and target more people through direct mail.

  • Customizable Content Without Limits

    When compared to paid search, online advertisements, and even email marketing, postcards are more digestible and customizable. Unlike email marketing – where a business needs to either purchase or compile a virtual rolodex, and anti-spam legislation can lead to fines for businesses who reach out to the wrong individuals – postcards can be sent to specific individuals in any physical area of a business’ choosing, whether the residents there have opted in to receive mail from the business or not. Direct mail allows businesses to promote information about their menu, products, or upcoming sales to whoever they want without issue.

  • Cost Effectiveness

    Direct mail can be incredibly cost effective for a business hoping to find new customers or engage existing ones. Did you know small businesses can send up to 31,487 targeted direct mail pieces for an estimated delivery cost of $6,190.97 in Toronto? That breaks down to approximately $0.20 per piece. If you don’t have the skills to make your own marketing materials for your business, it never hurts to get expert help when preparing a direct mail campaign.

  • Eye-Catching and Tactile Design Potential

    An email just doesn’t compare to something visually or physically interesting that you can hold and experience in real life. With so many user-friendly design and production resources available today, it’s easier than ever for businesses to design, print and mail out eye-catching and even tactile postcards. Free graphic design tools like Canva offer customizable templates for businesses to bring their marketing vision to life.

Final Thought: Combining Direct Mail and Digital Marketing Produces Strong Results

In life, we can often achieve more in tandem than alone. Marketing campaigns aren’t much different. By combining direct mail and digital outreach, marketers can generate a strong return on their investment.

A huge neuromarketing study revealed that direct mail drives more action than digital because of its physicality. It also revealed that direct mail and digital campaigns work better together than alone. People paid 39 per cent more attention to integrated campaigns than to pure digital campaigns, and consumers had 40 per cent higher brand recall when direct mail followed email. People like marketing that is tactile because it takes 21 per cent less mental effort to process direct mail and it prompts a 20 per cent higher motivation response than digital. Make sure to pair direct mail with your next digital campaign to increase the likelihood that your recipients will pay more attention to it and act on it.

“Why direct mail marketing is far from dead”, Forbes, 2017.
“30 Direct mail statistics”, Compu-Mail, 2017.
Why Direct Mail, Canada Post.

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