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Top 5 Reasons Direct Mail Isn’t Dead

By: ESco


Johannesburg, South Africa - September 11, 2010: Mom with pram and Mailman delivering mail in a wealthy suburban neighborhood street

Ever heard the saying direct mail is dead? Many people within the digital marketing industry consider this marketing channel to be dying in value when looking at their marketing strategy. But they are wrong!

We are going to take a look into 5 key reasons why direct mail isn’t dead, and more importantly, why it is actually very valuable…

High levels of engagement

Despite popular belief, direct mail actually has a really high engagement level and this appears to be growing as opposed to going down. Perhaps due to the current pandemic, potential customers are valuing receipt of direct mail more than ever before.

Research shows that in 2019, 91% of consumers engaged with all direct mail delivered to their homes. This percentage then grew to 96% in 2020. It was also found that the mail received would frequently remain within consumers homes for at least 28 days and would be interacted with an average of 4.5 times.

Given the low open rate and interaction of many digital channels, these stats are pretty impressive. This shows that in terms of exposing your brand to consumers, direct mail should certainly have a place in your marketing strategy.

Trusted Channel

Furthermore to the increasing engagement of direct mail amongst consumers is the bombardment of digital messaging they recieve on a daily basis. Since the pandemic, more companies have been turning to digital channels as a means for growing their business.

This has not only diluted the amount you are likely to get your messaging in front of potential customers, but also caused those potential customers to become overwhelmed.

As a marketing channel, direct mail has been around for decades and whilst the digital channels are always innovating, it can lead to wariness of new and unfamiliar techniques. Direct mail has a long standing trust amongst consumers, and therefore, is certainly worth leveraging.


Direct mail creates a tangible experience for its recipients. It is possible to leverage all 5 senses; touch, taste, audio, smell and sight, using a mail drop. Whereas digital is purely limited to 2; sight and touch.

This opens up an additional 3 sensory responses to influence the behaviours of your potential clients. By leveraging all 5 senses simultaneously, you can create a truly multi-sensory experience which is difficult to achieve through any other method than face to face sales.

Traditional Method, New Technologies

Whilst considered a traditional marketing method, direct mail hasn’t stood still in it’s delivery. Technology has allowed for many new ways of getting messaging across to users. Some of these include generated dynamic QR codes, 3D mail packs and even augmented reality.

Direct mail doesn’t have to be a simple pamphlet or brochure through the door anymore, and implementing these new technologies actually gives your brand opportunity to stand out even further. Consumers love to feel they have their hands on something unique, so if you can use a traditional method, in a not so traditional way, it’s highly likely your users will run with sharing this all over the internet, boosting your exposure and authority in a profound way.

It works well with digital – And IS trackable!

Last but not least, many people within the marketing industry believe that direct mail is a channel in it’s own right, and other than following the same messaging, is unable to integrate well with your other marketing channels. However, this isn’t true.

Employing the new technologies, you can actually use direct mail to drive your digital marketing strategy. Furthermore, it’s easier to track than many believe. With the use of URL parameters, shortened URLs, QR code tracking and several other techniques, it is possible to confirm exactly where your direct marketing is working, who your content is being exposed to and the impact it is having on your digital strategy.

So don’t forget about direct mail

Yes it may have been around longer than the newer, more obscure marketing methods but that doesn’t mean it has lost it’s value. Direct mailing is still very effective in both brand awareness and generating sales. So, consider how you can use it to your advantage.

Published: February 8, 2021

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