Direct Mail’s Not Dead, It’s Just Getting Smarter

If you thought direct mail marketing was ever making an exit, we’ve got news for you. Not only is direct mail a staple marketing strategy today, it doesn’t have any real “replacement” in an increasingly digitized world.

Direct mail has far from croaked. The expertise and tools emerging today only give it more power.

Direct Mail’s Not Dead.

In fact, a more likely scenario is that digital tools will improve direct mail for decades to come, making it even more central to global marketing efforts.

These stats from the 2022 State of Direct Mail report say it all:

  • Direct mail has a response rate 13x higher than email.
  • It gets a 27% response rate when combined with email.
  • Hyper-personalized mail can make 68% or higher ROI

Direct mail is not only alive and well, it’s gaining steam. And you can start reaping the ROI benefits today – if you do it the right way. Let’s talk about how you can leverage automated direct mail and see results in your next marketing campaign.

Why Use Direct Mail?

Email is often considered the most personal digital marketing format. If social media is like trying to shout your message in a crowded bar, email is a one-on-one coffee meetup. Where’s that leave direct mail? Direct mail is more like a coffee-meetup where you buy your friend’s coffee.

That brings us to the first reason people opt for a direct mail strategy.

1. Direct mail is personal.

Personalization is key to any successful campaign. 20% of customers say they will unsubscribe if content doesn’t align with personal preferences. In digital marketing, this might mean tailoring a message specifically to one segment of thousands of people. When you cast a wide net, it may give several-hundred customers the illusion that you know them.

With direct mail, the connection is less illusory. It could involve hand-writing a note once in a while or delivering a gift, anything “extra” that might stick out and keep your memory alive with customers. At minimum, a piece of direct mail with a clear purpose and well-crafted copy stands a chance at out-performing email or social messaging, simply because it’s tangible.

2. Direct mail is versatile.

There are two types of direct mail- targeted and “every-door direct mail” (EDDM). Targeted mail involves more hyper-focused marketing, while every-door is more generic. Both forms have their pros and cons, depending on your needs and budget.

To name a few:

  • Targeted marketing is more affordable than EDDM, with higher ROI.
  • Targeted mail requires more variety, EDDM is more standardized.
  • Targeted mail takes time to implement, EDDM is a quick blast.

Again, your goals may be different depending on which ones you choose. EDDM would help you saturate a specific geographic area. But if you want to keep customers for the long-haul, you would look to hyper-personalize your messaging.

3. Direct mail has higher ROI.

Buying into mass marketing via ads or email can be costly. The more people you want to target, and the more personal you want to get, the more you pay. With direct mail, you have an opportunity to get more personal than you ever could with email, because you’re targeting fewer people. Instead of going for numbers, you’re devoting resources to a higher-quality message, which often requires a smaller reach.

With hyper-personalized marketing, though, you get to know people on a more individual level, with more opportunities to deliver a tailored message - the look and feel of your deliverable, the message itself, the speed at which you send it. More opportunities to impress translate to that 60%+ ROI mentioned above

4. Direct mail success is measurable.

And we know it’s feasible, because it’s also easy to measure. 86% of companies are confident in their ability to measure the ROI of their direct mail efforts. They do this by watching individual customer activity over a specific period of time. Did the customer respond within 3 weeks? Did they scan their QR code? Did they visit the personalized URL you shared?

In short, a hyper-personalized strategy comes across more authentic, because it is. Done correctly, it gives customers the impression you’ve put in a little extra effort getting to know who they really are.

So, while digital transformation isn’t ousting direct mail, it’s changing it for the better. To get the most out of direct mail in the future will require some adjustment, though. Namely, businesses will increasingly target their customers by multiple channels with direct mail at the center. We call this “omni-channel” marketing. Here’s what that looks like.

Why Omni-Channel Marketing?

Only 5% of enterprise marketers use direct mail as a stand-alone tactic. Syncing direct mail with tech gives you the opportunity to hyper-focus on your customers at scale. Information travels faster, and it’s more condensed.

In the past, emphasis on direct mail would limit your reach. But today’s tools can help you acquire targets through inbound marketing, then you can use account-based marketing efforts to really hone-in on specific customers in your pool for a lifetime. It all comes down to having the right team, and the right tech.

Today, 51% of businesses use software/tech platforms to execute their marketing campaigns. Without it, 32% said they struggle with poor response rate, and 31% complain of workflow complexities.

Because of the ROI opportunity in direct mail, and its improvement with tech, these numbers will only grow with time. People are becoming more aware of the importance of having direct mail experts and tools in their corner to work out things like:

  • Mailing Collateral Sizes & Types
  • Audience Creation & Appending
  • Campaign Spending Budget
  • Delivery Schedules & Speed
  • Marketing Triggers to External CRMs

A platform like can help with these tasks, planning and building direct mail marketing for all types of campaigns, no matter the industry. With the right team and tech holding the reins of an omni-channel direct mail campaign, you can turn bottlenecks into growth opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Direct mail has far from croaked. The expertise and tools emerging today only give it more power. Personalization is an ever-growing need in the marketing world, and hyper-personalization is quickly becoming the solution to fulfilling that need. With an omni-channel direct mail strategy, you can take full advantage of every ROI opportunity available today. can establish that underlying infrastructure to keep customers engaged and returning for more.

If you have any additional question about EDDM & Targeted Direct Marketing, or how can cover your direct mailing needs from the note pad to the mail box, and everywhere in between please schedule a free consultation or send us a message here.

In the near future, will be offering a platform to manage your direct mailing campaigns as well as integrate into your CRM or 3rd party system for additional engagement. For more information on that, check out: