Direct Mail Response Rate, Why Direct Mail Marketing Is Far From Dead
What about Direct Mail Response Rate? We’ve all heard an urban legend or two in our time. Usually, they are creepy tales told during sleepovers or over a campfire, like Bloody Mary. Legend has it that if you close the lights, look into a mirror and say “Bloody Mary” three times, you will summon the ghost of an executed witch.
For marketers and business owners, one of the biggest urban legends is: Direct mail is dead. It was killed by the internet.
However, it’s not just alive and well. According to recent statistics and studies, direct mail could be considered superior to other marketing channels.
Top Channel For Direct Mail Response Rate
Though there has been a reduction in response rates for direct mail over the last ten years, it’s still holding strong. In its response rate report, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) analyzed Bizo and Epsilon data and found that direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate, compared to 0.12% for email.
Overall, the DMA found that direct mail’s response rates are anywhere from 10 to 30 times higher than digital. It notes that consumers, overwhelmed by inboxes cluttered with unsolicited marketing emails, are more receptive to direct mail, which arrives on a much less-cluttered channel.
But that’s only part of the reason.
Strong Perceived Value
Even the most obvious junk mail in your mailbox has something that few marketing emails will ever possess: the reality factor. We’ve sent it and received it, opened it, saved it and thrown it away for much of our lives. It has weight, substance and dimension. Mail is a constant.
It’s no surprise then that a study conducted by the UK Royal Mail, The Private Life of Mail, concluded that the upswing in the use of direct mail and its enduring effectiveness is because “Giving, receiving and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience.”
This emotional effect is what’s at the bottom of its effectiveness: 60% said this effect made a more lasting mental impression on them, making it easier to recall later on. 57% of respondents said postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship.
This emotional effect is what’s at the bottom of its effectiveness: 60% said this effect made a more lasting mental impression on them, making it easier to recall later on. 57% of respondents said that postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship.
More Desire To Purchase
A U.S. study came away with similar findings.
Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response, sponsored by the U.S. Post Office, used eye-movement tracking and biometric measurements such as heart rate and respiration to gauge attention and emotional engagement with digital and direct mail. It then used magnetic resonance imaging to capture participants’ brain activity when asked to recall a particular ad.
Results indicated that participants had greater attention to digital ads and that engagement was similar for physical ads. However, individuals exposed to physical ads experienced heightened excitement and a greater subjective valuation and desirability for the advertised items.
The Millennial Demographic
This means millennials, too. The general perception of millennials is that they were practically raised with iPhones or tablets in their hands and would never be interested in anything as old-world as postal mail. This, too, may be something of an urban legend.
The fact is a significant percentage of millennials like mail. It has a built-in emotional response factor. Gallup reported that 36% of people under 30 look forward to checking their mailboxes every day. What’s more, 95% of 18-to-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters. This generation will wield a combined $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020, as reported by Accenture.
It’s easy to see the opportunities that direct mail will continue to provide savvy marketers and business owners.