Mail is having another moment

Every few years we write a post like this. That’s because direct mail has its up and downs depending on seasons and other media—and right now, we’re in an up. Consumers—including those pesky millennials—are in the throes of a rebalancing of trends and touchpoints, as evidenced by the rediscovery of vinyl records and the boom in portable printer sales (the kind you hook up to your mobile phone). It’s not all about what’s on a screen—it’s kinda about what’s on the screen and what’s authentically in your hand.

A little while back, direct mail seemed admittedly less fierce and fabulous. “Everything’s digital now,” even industry insiders would say. But if we know anything it’s that there are cycles to trends, and what’s trendy doesn’t always produce results.

A recent study by McCann reveals an “expanded territory” for direct mail.  In fact, it may even be the new blue ocean strategy. If “everything’s digital now” is true, where do marketers and brands go to stand out?

Mail is typically not the cheapest channel.  But with the “endless bombardment of electronic messages” according to an industry executive, mail is once again a welcome tactic.

The study found that the average American spends 25 minutes a day with mail—that window of opportunity with each consumer when the focus is on an actual tactile experience.

How do we know that this is mail’s moment?

  • Never before has the medium been so advanced in terms of analytics and targeting. That is why the return on investment for certain categories such as insurance is so incredibly high. We know the target is interested in the product, we can tailor the message and we can drive the response to a variety of channels to engage for optimum conversion.
  • With increasing concern over privacy online (phishing scams, et al) consumers have a limit to how much information and targeting they feel comfortable with. Mail has a certain legitimacy and sense of security in the current climate that an email or another digital tactic may lack.
  • A multi-channel campaign without mail is…minus the heavy lifting champion.

So: mail away, marketers.

Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn


One thought on “Mail is having another moment

  1. Like most, I get hundreds of emails per day. The odds of me viewing a marketing email for more than a second are low. Far too easy to right click delete / spam. But I only receive a handful of snail mail pieces, which generally I open. We are using direct mailings at our company as a way of increasing brand awareness. As my dad was fond of saying, “Everyone likes to get mail.”


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