Direct Mail Outperforms Digital

Going offline to create more meaningful brand experiences

It seems inconceivable and counterintuitive that in an age where we are intrinsically attached to our digital devices, an increasing number of young people are in search of offline experiences. This desire extends to every facet of people’s lives including marketing and advertising exposures. What was once perceived as snail mail, is now demonstrating that it has the ability to achieve targets faster than digital media.

Direct Mail is appreciated by consumers of all ages

Approximately 36% of people under the age of 30 reported that they look forward to checking their mailboxes every day, and 95% of 18 to 29 year-olds experience positive emotions when they receive cards and letters in the mail. This inclination towards direct mail appeals to millennials as well, with 77% of them saying they pay attention to direct mail marketing.

“We have seen a steady increase in direct mail campaigns, and one just has to look at their own e-mail inbox to gain an understanding of this renewed interest in direct mail”, says John Leonard, V.P. Sales and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management. With an average of 121 e-mails received per day, the digital landscape has become oversaturated, and consumers are increasingly tuning out digital marketing offers. Digital fatigue is real, with 75% of consumers saying they are overwhelmed by the number of digital ads they see. As a result, only 20-30% of e-mails are opened by consumers while up to 90% of direct mail pieces are opened. Click-through rates for standard display ads in Canada have plummeted to just 0.06%.

Direct Mail holds attention span longer

“A side effect of all this digital exposure is that attention spans continue to shrink, yet direct mail has been able to maintain its ability to hold consumers’ attention for a lot longer than other channels, especially digital, making it far more effective at communicating brand offers”, says Leonard. In a Canada Post study, participants spent 118% more time with direct mail than digital advertising. Direct mail is also easier to understand and more memorable than digital media, requiring 21% less cognitive effort to process, and it elicits much higher brand recall.

Direct Mail is trusted

The other major challenge facing digital marketing is the record number of cybersecurity attacks experienced by consumers and businesses. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, cyber-attacks have increased 89% in the past 12 months. With 91% of all cyber-attacks beginning with a phishing e-mail to an unsuspecting victim, consumers are becoming increasingly wary of opening e-mails even if they know the sender. With direct mail the consumer trust rate is high. Approximately 76% of people say they trust ads they receive in the mail. A staggering 90% of millennials believe direct mail advertising is reliable, and 57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers.

Consumer demand for offline experiences combined with the challenges faced by digital marketers has led to a recent resurgence in direct mail campaigns, and it’s no wonder, direct mail statistics consistently outperform digital channels. It is undeniable that tangible mail elicits far more favourable responses than digital, as consumers perceive value with tangible experiences.

Direct Mail, achieving better results!

  • Direct mail achieves a 4% response rate, compared to 0.12% for e-mail.
  • 70% of consumers say direct mail makes them feel more valued.
  • Direct mail has a 20% higher motivation response than digital media, making it far more persuasive.
  • Consumers pay 39% more attention (time spent) to campaigns that integrate direct mail and digital than with single-media campaigns.
  • 47% of consumers visited a store in reaction to direct mail.
  • 66% of participants exposed to direct mail campaigns had a higher brand recall.
  • Offer recall among those exposed to direct mail was also strong, at 57%.

Savvy marketers are taking a second look at direct mail as a means of providing consumers with longer, more meaningful, and trustworthy connections with their brands. Direct mail has the ability to cut through all the clutter consumers are experiencing with digital media, and bring increased focus and attention to their campaigns, which can lead to significant improvements in response rates.

John Leonard is V.P., Sales & Marketing for Cover-All Business Communication Management.  He works with his team and clients to develop relevant and effective communications by using data and technology. Contact Cover-All Business Communication Management to find out more at (416)752-8100.

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