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Janalee SilveySep 21, 2018 3:14:41 PM2 min read

Direct Mail is Back in Style

directbigstock-139837040Direct Mail is often perceived as an outdated marketing tactic, however, direct mail is more relevant and personal than ever. With an overwhelming amount of content online, direct mail can actually grab the attention of customers more easily than emails or digital advertising. More importantly, direct mail works well in conjunction with digital tactics. A customer who receives a mail piece, corresponding email, and targeted ads on their social media pages would have a much higher level of brand recognition than someone who receives periodic marketing emails. The omni-channel experience helps to promote customer engagement and satisfaction, and direct mail is a component that we won't see fading into the background anytime soon. Here's why direct mail has become more successful over the past 10 years:

Many marketers have long awaited the death of direct mail. Surely it couldn’t last much longer, they thought; after all, smartphones, video marketing and social media have all become vastly popular. Why would consumers still want to get physical mail?

Neil O’Keefe, senior vice president of marketing and content at the Data & Marketing Association, says that marketers began questioning direct mail’s endurance in 2007. That year, Statista reports that smartphone sales jumped 70% from the previous year to $8.7 billion. At the same time, the volume of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service began to plummet: In 2006, people in the U.S. sent 213.1 billion pieces of mail, according to USPS; by 2017, they were sending 149.5 billion pieces each year, a 29.9% decline. By this point, smartphone sales had reached $55.6 billion. The price of postage and paper had skyrocketed, as did the number of internet users—everything seemed to hammer a nail into direct mail’s coffin.

But a strange thing has happened in marketing: Direct mail response rates have risen in the past 10 years.

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Contrary to popular belief, direct mail is not dead. It's receiving good responses, especially when paired with digital tactics in an omni-channel marketing campaign. The key to direct mail is sending relevant material to engaged customers. If you're looking to begin sending direct mail, but the thought of creating an entire marketing campaign overwhelms you, don't hesitate to contact a marketing agency for assistance. At Front Burner Marketing, we can help create effective direct mail pieces that fit into a custom marketing campaign, and provide insight in other areas of your marketing plan as well.

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