The Power of Direct Mail to Support Online Advertising

Martech Insights | Thursday, September 22, 2022

Many businesses have moved away from traditional marketing methods like direct mail because of all these new avenues of digital marketing.

FREMONT, Calif.: In the age of technology, many digital communication channels are available. Social media has increased the reach of smart businesses that power Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even TikTok profiles to reach potential customers. As Gen Z ages, these alternatives will expand.

Using the “out with the old, in with the new” approach, many organizations have abandoned traditional marketing strategies like direct mail in favor of digital marketing. However, the fact that conventional approaches have been around for a long time does not imply that they are ineffective. In reality, they have survived so long because they are effective.


Direct mail is one of the oldest communication distribution techniques.

Direct mail is any advertisement that a person receives in their physical mailbox, such as brochures, postcards, flyers and catalogs.

Most individuals receive their bills electronically and use email for business and social interactions, leaving mailboxes empty. Any incoming direct mail should be more visible than a few years ago.

Even if the recipients throw it away, they have to see and touch it first because it is tangible. Compare this to mass marketing emails, also known as “spam”. Today, people receive so many spam emails that many get thrown away unopened. Additionally, some marketing emails are not even delivered to potential customers’ inboxes because email providers have filters to eliminate spam.

While email is an inexpensive and immediate way to reach many people, an email campaign can be much more effective when combined with direct mail.


In 2022, advertisers are expected to spend around $43 billion on direct mail, according to online statistics and market research firm Statista. This represents a 3.5% increase from the more than $42 billion invested in 2020. According to data from Omnisend and Forbes, omnichannel marketing campaigns have a 287% higher purchase rate than single-channel marketing campaigns.

Businesses need to start with an effective direct mail campaign. Sending to a large number of people is a waste of resources. According to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, spam does not exist; only poorly designed and poorly managed campaigns do. Targeting specific demographics within a specific market is essential for optimal results. It must be a service they need and can be accessed from their location. For example, an elderly person does not need a discount on children’s haircuts from a salon 80 km from his home. With the abundance of Internet tools available today, it is simple to identify the particular population that companies want to target.

After identifying the target audience and running the ad, companies need to give them a reason not to throw it away. Perhaps this is an offer that guarantees a substantial discount in exchange for a trial run. Additionally, companies could reinforce the message through digital means.

Consumers can scan a quick response (QR) code to receive a special offer using mobile devices. Once on the website, businesses can have them enter their email address to sign up for exclusive offers. Now they have both their physical address and their email address. They will also see emails in their inbox rather than their spam folder and will recognize names, increasing the likelihood that they will open them.

This direct mail can also encourage consumers to visit social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Businesses can direct potential customers to their websites and collect their email addresses through these methods.

Going forward, the most effective marketing strategies will be those that combine traditional means such as direct mail and digital marketing, including social media, to give businesses a “thumbs up”.

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