Fact or Myth-The truth about direct mail

As the hype with social media and email marketing starts to increase,  some people are beginning to doubt the impact of direct mail marketing.

Here are some Myth and Facts about direct mail and its effectiveness.


Myth#1: “Direct mail doesn’t work anymore”

Fact:  The “response rate” generated by direct mail is 10 to 30 times better than e-mail marketing. That means 10 to 30 times more people will take action (call, write, stop-in, tell a friend, etc.) after receiving a direct-mail marketing effort. In fact, direct mail has the highest response rate of any direct-marketing medium.

Myth#2: “People don’t want direct mail anymore”

Fact:  Actually, the opposite is true. Most people are so tired of staring at screens at the end of the day that they welcome direct mail. A recent study showed that “more than 64 percent of employed U.S. adults say they find printed materials easier and more comfortable to read than anything on a computer screen.”

Myth#3: “People just toss direct mail in the trash today.”

Fact:  Yes it is true, people will toss mail that doesn’t appeal to them (just like they’ll delete or ignore online marketing that doesn’t appeal).  When asked “What makes you open and read direct mail?” this is what consumers said:

  • It’s from a brand or company I know (55%)
  • It’s personally addressed to me (51%)
  • I’m interested in the product or service (50%)
  • I can clearly see it contains a free sample/voucher (39%)
  • It pertains to local services or events (27%)
  • It involves a competition (21%)
  • It’s delivered in interesting packaging (15%)
  • It looks fun and/or humorous (10%)
  • I like the design (6%)
  • It’s delivered in an attractive envelope (6%)
  • I like the color of the mailing (3%)
  • Other (12%)

Myth#4: “Most of my customers find me online, so I don’t need direct mail.”

Fact:  People may use email, Twitter and Facebook to interact with you and your organization, but the chances of them discovering you online are very, very low. A recent study of this very issue showed that the vast majority of Internet users (76 percent) “are directly influenced to buy an item or service because of a direct-mail marketing effort.”

Myth#5: “I’m having success with other marketing, so I don’t need direct mail.”

Fact:  Direct mail pairs well with other types of marketing strategies.  Studies show that when direct mail is paired with other types of marketing, it can increase the overall performance.

Myth#6: “Direct marketing is too expensive.”

Fact:  Yes,  Direct mail can add up.  With the recent decrease in postage by the USPS, it is a historic time to be doing direct mail marketing.  With the right direct mail company they can save you money on wasted time and wasted postage.  USPS certified staff are able to determine the best rates possible.   You get what you pay for. In other words, if you want the highest response rates, you need to use direct mail.

The response rates for non-direct mail marketing efforts are so incredibly low that you need to reach out to thousands more prospects to get the same level of response.

Divine creations has a team of USPS certified professionals along with strong partnerships with the USPS.  We have years of experience and work to get you the most out of your direct mail marketing campaign.

THE BIGGEST TRUTH OF ALL:  Tweeting, blogging, Facebooking and emailing all have their place in a marketing program. You’ll have the most success if you put direct mail marketing at the center of that effort. While those other marketing mediums are super easy and super cheap, study after study has shown that they just don’t pack nearly the same punch as direct mail.


Direct Marketing Association analysis of more than 29 billion emails, and its existing direct-mail statistics; USPS Deliver Magazine 11/20/12
U.S. Postal Service, Deliver Magazine, 8/10
Harris Interactive study; Deliver magazine, 3/10
CCB fastMAP 2008 marketing-GAP research, Delivery Magazine, 4/10
Merkle Thought Leadership Series “Driving Successful Email and Direct Mail Integration” 3/10