Direct Mail in the Digital Age

In a digital world, Direct Mail may seem outdated to many. If we're being frank, the demise of the sector was predicted more than once in the early 2000s by proponents of online marketing, but the reality has been somewhat different. In fact, Direct Mail has become an integral part of the modern marketing mix.

The reasons for this are many-fold, but in simple terms it's about perception and effectiveness. Despite a higher unit cost than rivals such as email marketing, Direct Mail is still one of the most cost-effective promotional channels due to its higher engagement rate and better perception among consumers.

The higher engagement rate is down largely to the multitude of email marketing campaigns out there. With the average user receiving around 50 promotional emails each day, printed mail tends to stand out more and has the added attraction of a physical presence with a feel and smell. Get this right and you're half way to getting it opened.

Another key advantage of Direct Mail is the physical presence of paper in the household. This makes it far more likely to be read by multiple people or even shared by friends, which increases the likelihood of initiating a response. Also, 74% of people will always open and read a mailer and 50% claim to prefer it, which demonstrates a clear advantage over digital alternatives.

In recent years, DM practitioners have been able to think smarter, aided by the emergence of new technologies in everything from data processing to design and print. This makes it possible to design, personalise and distribute mailers in a much more targeted way than before, which in turn leads to a higher engagement rate. In the case of the eGaming sector, it is possible to create DM mailers that appeal to different stages of the player lifecycle, such as retention and reactivation.

It's also possible to create a direct link between printed DM materials and the online sphere using a variety of different channels, from simple URLs and QR codes to much more complex 'virtual' mailers that allow direct interaction between the printed matter and a handheld device.

Direct Mail is now part of a much larger marketing spectrum than it was a decade ago, but it is holding its own against its online rivals. Standalone DM campaigns do still happen, but the medium now works best, and delivers more, as an integrated part of the digital mix. So instead of killing off Direct Mail, digital marketing has in fact been its saviour.

To find out how direct mail could work for your business, contact the Secure Direct Mail team today on 01624 698488 or email Visit to read our other blog items.

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