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Direct Mail Is Not Dead: It hasn't even left the building

Direct Mail isn’t dead.  In fact, according to a new study done by the DMA, 90% of marketers, agencies, and other suppliers of direct marketing services say they use non-catalog direct mail, and nearly half (46%) say it’s their primary channel for promotions.

Some interesting data gleaned from that study:
  • Companies that send promotions using non-catalog direct mail spend an average of 46.9% of their company's total annual advertising expenditure on the non-catalog direct mail channel.
  • B2C firms are much more likely to use direct mail for customer retention.
  • B2B firms are much more likely to use direct mail for customer acquisition.

Another study on marketing tactics for 2009 conducted by Bredin Business Information yielded the following results:
43.5% of small to medium-sized businesses rely on direct mail to promote their business. In their "2009 Non-catalog Direct Mail" study, the DMA reports that:
  • Direct Mail will drive $561.7 billion in sales.
  • Direct Mail is the second-highest-performing sales channel (right behind non-email Internet marketing).

While the value of email marketing is clear, it's important to note that:
  • 25% of Americans do not have access to the Internet.
  • 50+% of Europeans don't use the Internet.

The value of email marketing is clear: low ROI, speed to market, easy to measure, among other things.  What’s becoming clear as more studies are conducted, is that Direct Mail’s place in the total marketing strategy is far more impactful than originally thought.

According to a campaign analysis done by the DMA Email Marketing Council, Direct Mail:

  • Increases the response of email marketing campaigns.
  • Drives offline actions in much the same way as online communications do.
  • Drives response rates even  higher when combined with emails to the same individuals.
  • Gives the  customer a choice as to how they want to hear from us.

Direct Mail isn't dead. The shape of its value is just shifting.