Blog Insight

Is Direct Mail Obsolete?

OK, full disclosure, at DCG ONE we print and fulfill upwards of 125 million pieces of direct mail (DM) per year. We are on the front lines of direct mail every day and we are here to tell you that new advances in print personalization technology have spawned a resurgence in direct mail’s popularity as an effective marketing channel. With inboxes overflowing and online ads relentlessly bombarding buyers, a well-designed piece of physical mail can feel like an oasis to your prospective customer.

Did you know that:

  • More than one-third of boomers say they’ve visited a brand’s website after receiving a piece of relevant content?
  • Gen Xers make up 19 percent of the population and have the highest post tax incomes of any demographic and spending habits that outpace both boomers and millennials? Gen Xers are looking to feel special and are attracted to quality direct mail with thicker paper and great design.
  • Nearly 85 percent of millennials take time to look through their mail?
  • Gen Zers are just entering the workforce now, and that 33 percent of them are inclined to make a purchase if they see it in the mail?

Source: USPS Generational Research Report

In this article, we'll explore how direct mail can work seamlessly with digital marketing channels, including personalized landing pages and USPS Informed Delivery, to create a winning combination.

Building Trust and Credibility

Direct mail can play a pivotal role in establishing trust and credibility with your audience. When potential customers receive a physical piece of marketing material in their mailboxes, it can create a sense of legitimacy and lasting permanence that digital messages often lack. It's a physical representation of your brand and, when done right, can leave a positive and lasting impression that drives a prospective buyer to a store or website and lead to a sale.

Personalization at Its Finest

One of the key advantages of digital marketing is its ability for personalization. Now direct mail can offer the same level of customization. By leveraging data analytics and variable data print technology, you can tailor your direct mail campaigns to specific segments of your audience. Use the insights gained from your digital efforts to craft personalized and relevant messages in your direct mail materials on a more direct and personal level, just like email. This synergy enhances the overall customer experience and boosts engagement and conversion rates.

Personalized Landing Pages

To further connect your DM and digital marketing, incorporating personalized landing pages (PURLs) can be a huge addition to your strategy. Here's how it works:

1. Unique URLs: Each direct mail piece can include a personalized URL (PURL) that leads recipients to a dedicated landing page. These landing pages are tailored to the individual recipient (images, messaging, etc.), based on their preferences, behavior, or demographics.

2. Tailored Content: On these landing pages, you can provide highly personalized content, such as product recommendations, special offers, or content that aligns with the recipient's interests and needs.

3. Tracking and Analytics: PURLs allow you to track and measure the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns in real-time. You can monitor page visits, engagement, and conversion rates, providing valuable data to optimize your campaigns in real-time and provide analytics for your future marketing efforts.

USPS Informed Delivery

USPS Informed Delivery is another innovative tool that can complement your direct mail strategy at free or low cost:

1. Digital Preview / Daily Digest Email: USPS Informed Delivery allows recipients to receive a digital preview email of their physical mail before it arrives. This creates an intriguing sense of anticipation and enhances the likelihood that recipients will engage with your direct mail piece. As of 2023, 56.6 million individuals have signed up for the daily preview email, with an average open rate consistently above 65 percent. (Source: USPS)

2. Integration with Digital Marketing: You can leverage USPS Informed Delivery by coordinating your digital marketing efforts to coincide with the physical mail delivery. Send email campaigns or display ads that align with the content of your direct mail piece, creating a seamless, multi-channel experience.

Measuring Success

Effective direct marketing relies on data-driven decision-making, and the interaction between direct mail, personalized landing pages, and USPS Informed Delivery is no different. Here at DCG ONE, we

  • Utilize tracking and analytics tools to measure the impact of your multi-channel efforts.
  • Monitor website visits, email open and click rates, conversion rates, and other key metrics to assess the effectiveness of your campaigns.
  • Develop strategic testing plans whereby offers, creative, and data are all included in the testing plans to increase campaign performance.

In the age of digital dominance, it's easy to dismiss direct mail as a relic of the past. However, when used strategically and in conjunction with digital channels, direct mail can be a potent tool that complements and enhances your digital marketing efforts, resulting in higher response and conversion rates.

For more information, read our blogs on Informed Delivery by Brody Thornton and our Spotlight on Tauck Tours by David Melhado.

Or give us a shout and talk to our direct mail creative, production, and mailing experts. Let us show you the most successful form factors, help you build personalized landing pages, or how to leverage all the tools (and discounts!) from the USPS.