Is Direct Mail Dead?

It’s interesting to see the ongoing disconnection between analytic, data-driven digital natives who claim that direct mail is dead and the facts that clearly show how direct mail is still producing significant ROI, profits, and response every day. Certainly, direct mail has evolved like every other marketing medium, but it’s hardly dead. Let’s consider what has enabled it to live so long and prosper.

What many forget is that today’s online response marketing is based on the same three principles that have driven traditional direct mail campaigns for decades. It allows you to:

  1. Make a relevant offer to a specific target audience. As in the classic movie The Godfather, it’s important to “make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse.” The offer in any direct mail piece is the defining ingredient for success. It needs to be compelling enough for the reader to STOP and take notice. There are all types of offers out there ranging from discounts, free gifts, and low rates to charities, two-for-ones…the list goes on and on. Decide on the best offer you can afford that has relevance to the product or service and don’t forget to give that offer an expiration date. Immediacy will create demand.
  2. State that offer in a compelling way via well-constructed and tested creative tools. Don’t be afraid to be BOLD. It has been proven time and again that being bold will bring bold results. And don’t shy away from writing extensive copy to explain your situation if that is what is needed; fundraisers have been doing it successfully for decades. Clients always say that no one reads copy anymore, but if you have something to say and it is meaningful to the reader, they will read on and take action…trust me.
  3. Aim that offer carefully through thoughtful list selection and testing. Understanding your target, your territory, and your geotarget sphere of influence is critical. You need to be mailing to the most targeted group of identified prospects, customers, or members as possible. Do your homework—talk to these audiences from a base of knowledge and experience. Make your message clear and simple.

To read more, download our free “Is Direct Mail Dead?” eBook.