Corporate Eye

Direct Mail Marketing Is Not Dead

mail_boxIf you’ve been in the marketing field for more than 10 years, then you remember the days when direct mail was still a vital part of every marketing plan. If you were a consumer 10 years ago, then you remember that mailboxes were filled with “junk mail” and few marketers’ attempts actually drove results. There was simply too much clutter.

Fast forward to 2013 and a very small percentage of marketers still invest in direct mail. It’s not surprising that direct mail has lost popularity. It’s expensive and other tools like email marketing, mobile marketing, and social media marketing have become the less expensive go-to tactics.

However, direct mail marketing is not dead. Yes, credit card companies and financial institutions dominate direct mail in 2013, but there are big opportunities for brands to get noticed through direct mail marketing. The clutter has shifted to email and the web. A good offer delivered directly to a person’s mailbox in printed form can stand out in a pile of bills and credit card offers.

Bolt Insurance released a Direct Mail Marketing infographic that sheds some light on the state of direct mail marketing in recent years, which you can see below. Some highlights include:

  • Direct mail marketing spending is expected to increase by 3.6% in the next year.
  • 65% of people who have received direct mail from brands have made purchases or engaged with the brand as a result.
  • 30% of consumers choose businesses based on direct mail they’ve received versus 25% for email and 10% for search engines.
  • A customer is 30-times more likely to respond to direct mail than an email.
  • The average direct mail marketing campaign costs $167 while the average resulting sales equate to $2,095.

When it comes to the type of direct mail campaigns that consumers prefer, health-related, financial, and insurance-related information is preferred via direct mail as are most other categories. However, consumers prefer to receive information about travel, hobbies, interests, and online shopping online. Email did not rank as the first choice for receiving information in any category among consumers and only ranked in second place (behind online) for online shopping information.

Take a look at the full infographic below for all of the details. Do you agree with the research results used to create it? What does your experience tell you about direct mail marketing in 2013 and consumers’ preferences for receiving information from brand marketers? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Direct Mail Marketing infographic
Via: BOLT Insurance

Image: Josh Klute

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

Direct mail marketing certainly isn’t “dead”. In fact, it’s a great way to stand out and get noticed today. The online space is extremely competitive and filled with noise whereas people typically only receive a few pieces of physical mail each day.

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