Advertising for Your Small Business: Is Direct Mail Still Effective in 2020?

In the 21st century where everything has turned digital, is there still a place for direct mail marketing?

Nowadays, businesses can send out new product information and promotions through emails and social media posts, but direct mail is not dead. Despite the ease and availability offered by the internet, many businesses continue to trust direct mail to communicate with existing and new customers. Services such as will not only oversee the printing of high-quality marketing materials, they will also update your mailing list and then send them out.

If you are still not convinced that direct mail is right for your business, here are the reasons why it is still effective:

It is Highly-Targeted

The advantage of direct mail marketing over other strategies is it is highly targeted. In marketing, targeting is important because it allows you to offer products and services to the people you hope to reach and have a higher chance of making a purchase. 

For example, if your business is a herbal supplement and you want to market it to older adults. You can send out brochures, pamphlets, or coupons to the homes of people aged 45 and above in your city or state.

Direct mail gives you the privilege to focus your marketing budget on specific groups rather than waste your marketing materials on a broader audience that is not interested in or has no need for what you are selling. It is more economical and effective than other ways of marketing.

man reading an ad on the brochure

It Has High Response Rate

Although there has been a decline in the past decade, direct mail still retains a high rate of response. In the 2018 report published by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail has a response rate of 9% to a house list and 5% to a prospect list. It was up from 5.1% to a house list and 2.9% to a prospect list from 2017. In comparison, email marketing received a response rate of 1% for both house and prospect list. Similarly, social media and paid search recorded a 1% response rate.

Part of the reason why it is more successful is that direct mail goes through a less-cluttered channel. People are less keen to check and respond to an unsolicited marketing email when they receive dozens of other promotions in their inbox.

It is Highly Personal

Direct mail is more individualized than emails and other strategies. When you send out marketing materials, you can address the recipient by name. This makes them less likely to ignore because it makes them feel more valued. It creates a more authentic relationship between your business and your target market. 

It is Memorable

The fact is, people are more likely to remember something that they have held in their hands rather than saw online. That is because physical ads elicit a stronger emotional response compared to virtual ads. 

In a previous study backed by the U.S. Post Office, researchers found that participants experienced heightened excitement and had greater valuation and desire for the products advertised through physical ads.

This is true even among young people who are spending more time online. In fact, many millennials enjoy checking their mailbox every day. With physical correspondence going out of fashion, people will value your direct mail instead of your unsolicited email. 

Direct mail is not yet dead. If you want to extend the strategies you have been doing, then do not hesitate to try it out.

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