The Three Reasons Direct Mail Delivers the Best ROI


When planning your next marketing campaign, you may be considering which marketing channels to use. For decades, direct mail has proven to perform time and time again, delivering business results [1]. While hype around newer marketing channels such as social media increases, direct mail marketing continues to deliver profitability as a highly effective direct channel for reaching your target markets [2].


There are a few key points to consider when evaluating why direct mail is consistently profitable. In this post, we’ll explore exactly what makes direct mail marketing lucrative. As with any business activity, profits should be maximized in order to improve the bottom line. In this case, direct mail has distinct advantages over other channels that are less likely to produce profitable results.


Awareness and Recognizability

Direct mail marketing profitability is directly linked to its recognizable format. While newer forms of online advertising may bombard prospective customers, overwhelming them, awareness levels as a result of direct mail marketing, are extremely high. With tested and reliable formats such as letter packages, postcards, and self-mailers, direct mail campaigns are designed to deliver positive ROI.


Marketing campaigns, such as website banner ads or pay-per-click advertising, are often being blocked by applications designed to do so. Recent studies have shown that Google is actively taking measures to allow ad blocking web extensions from its Google Chrome platform [3]. As more and more people tune out digital advertisements, direct mail remains extremely well received by target audiences.


User Friendly Simplicity

Direct mail is extremely user friendly. Many ecommerce-based companies spend large amounts of their advertising budget on digital ads resulting in diminished ROI due to poor website design, confusing online stores, or no clear calls to action. By contrast, direct mail can be extremely effective due to its simplicity.


The simplicity of direct mail helps drive AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) which is the key to successfully converting readers into buyers. With a direct mail approach, AIDA can be achieved through the following:


Attention: Direct mail marketing is designed to be attention grabbing, delivered directly to a person’s home or business, it is almost impossible for them to ignore. It is highly effective in grabbing attention in an age of digitally saturated advertisements. By contrast, the digital equivalent of direct mail marketing, email marketing, is very easily ignored. Often, email promotions and offers get trapped in spam filters, never to be seen or opened.


Interest: The simplicity of direct mail marketing allows the interest of the recipient to be peaked and converted into a response or lead. Through a highly engaging, well designed direct mail piece, you can capture the interest of your target market.


Desire: Desire can be generated through a simple yet effective direct mail campaign. Often desire can be established through the following methods:


  • Limited time offer / Limited quantity - A limited offer generates instant interest due to the scarcity principle. People will value something more when there is a limited amount available. This could be limitations around products or time.

  • Money-off deals – Money-off deals can be highly effective for driving interest through monetary incentives.


Action: Action takes place when recipients of direct mail marketing convert from passive readers into those who take action or respond.  For example, money-off coupons are a great way to motivate a consumer to take action by using the coupon.


Higher Quality Association

Direct mail marketing remains consistently profitable due to the high quality associated with the companies who incorporate a direct mail component in their marketing strategy. Companies that engage with consumers through direct mail, such as credit card giant American Express, are viewed as putting extra effort into their marketing activities by investing in communicating on a one-to-one basis [4]. To the recipient of the mail piece, the impression is that these companies care more about them by addressing their individual needs and offering relevant products and promotions.


This personalized, targeted approach results in a higher level of conversion compared to digital channels [5]. A business offering a free trial or gift via direct mail often realizes good conversion rates.


Direct mail marketing develops higher levels of trust and loyalty for repeat purchases. Even in the age of ecommerce, customers still look for convenience. Once a customer takes advantage of your promotion or offer, you can easily develop habits that continue for months or years with consumers watching and waiting for the next offer to arrive in their mail box. Direct mail is also the perfect marketing vehicle for cross-selling and upselling current customers and members.


Direct mail marketing is a proven strategy for delivering long-term profits for a company [6]. This comes as a result of the high degree of awareness and familiarity people have with direct mail, the user friendliness of the approach, and the association with high quality, tangible marketing efforts. Driving attention, creating interest, establishing desire and promoting action - all of these factors contribute to profitable direct mail marketing in 2019.


Genesis Direct has nearly 25 years of experience in direct mail marketing.  For a free consultation and to learn how we can help your business grow, call or email Mike McNally.


Mike McNally

Senior Account Executive

tel: (813) 855-4274 x1265 | mobile: (813) 610-5931











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