Direct mail is not dead — in fact, this print marketing communication form is very much alive and well. A recent United States Postal Service report found that 75% of respondents said receiving personalized direct mail makes them feel special, and today’s consumers still put more trust in the print communication channel compared to the digital channel.
The USPS® Promotions and Incentive Programs are designed to help businesses and brands save on the cost of direct mail postage, but the programs also encourage companies to think outside the box and incorporate existing new digital technology to help make their direct mail campaigns more interactive and engaging.
Even with the growth of paperless or digital banking services, print communications still have a large part to play in how financial service providers engage with current customers and attract new customers. In fact, more than 50% of banks and credit unions expect their print volumes to remain the same in the near future.
Print automation for direct mail marketing helps companies execute strategic, highly-targeted campaigns that leverage the power of print to engage and drive customers to act. But print automation also makes it easier for marketers to understand the ROI of their direct mail campaigns in order to better allocate print marketing dollars and resources.
Compared with digital communication channels like email, direct mail has a greater capacity to produce robust response rates and a deeper, more personal connection with a brand, product, or service. The ability of print to resonate in this way is part of the reason why marketers continue to leverage direct mail campaigns as part of their print communications budget.
A recent report found that about 62% of consumers acted on an offer after receiving a piece of direct mail. When you pair this with the fact that nearly 8 out of 10 consumers put more trust in print communications like direct mail compared with other channels, you have a method of customer communication and outreach that is ideal to drive conversions, which makes direct mail a valuable tool in your overall print marketing strategy.
When evaluating the performance of your direct mail campaign, response rate carries the day. The average response rate for direct mail campaigns clocks in at 4.4%, and while this may seem low compared to average email click-through rates, the challenge of reaching email inboxes and achieving high open rates makes direct mail campaigns all the more important and valuable.
We know that direct mail campaigns can be an extremely effective way of connecting with customers. However, the need to meet specific sustainability benchmarks across nearly every industry can muddy the waters in terms of incorporating direct mail campaigns into a larger print marketing strategy.
One of the first questions B2B marketers have when considering a direct mail postcard campaign is whether such a piece can be effective in getting customers to convert. While this skepticism may have been warranted in the past, as digital marketing tools like email have risen to prominence, they have also become more congested. This, along with the continued decline of email delivery and response rates in the B2B space, has prompted marketers to revisit postcard mailing programs as a viable way to drive conversions.
One of the strongest arguments for email marketing in the B2B space is its return on investment — email campaigns are relatively inexpensive to create and can come together in a fairly expedient manner. But in order to achieve the robust ROI email marketing can provide, these digital communications actually need to reach inboxes, and deliverability is quickly becoming a big challenge for marketers in engaging their target audiences.