Direct mail still works

26th November 2009 | Posted in Marketing communications

Direct mail is often seen as the poor relation of more instant, Internet-focused marketing.

Yet a recent survey found that 56% of marketers believe that direct mail still can influence top executives in organisations.

The move towards online marketing is continuing though, driven partly by green concerns, and more recently by the UK postal strike.

According to the Marketing Week Direct Mail Attitudes survey, currently 45% of respondents use interactive methods, 33% use more traditional direct mail, and 22% use both.

What constitutes direct mail success is, interestingly, also uncertain. While 42% of those questioned said a 5-10% response rate is acceptable, that’s only being achieved by around 22%. More than half of the respondents said their response rates were below 5%.

In my experience, well thought out campaigns have common elements, whether online or postal. They give a clear message in a few words highlighting the benefits of finding out more. They then drive the reader directly to the information they need – on a specific product page, a landing page or even a microsite. And finally they make a call to action very clear – call this number or email this address.

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