How direct mail can boost your business

3 minute read

In today’s do-everything-digital marketing world, it’s easy to abandon the age-old “paper route” when it comes to advertising. But while it may seem outdated, direct mail remains a dependable and affordable way to get your message across, engage with current customers and attract new ones – however big or small your business.

“Direct mail works better than many people realize, even with younger people,” says Sara Clodman, Vice-President of Public Affairs and Thought Leadership at the Canadian Marketing Association.

“The best strategy is to use both physical and digital media to augment messages and improve consumer outcomes.”

“According to research by Forbes, 36 per cent of people under age 30 look forward to checking their mailboxes every day and 95 per cent of 18-to-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters in the mail.1

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Integrate direct mail into your marketing mix to expand your reach

Adding direct mail to your overall marketing strategy is proven to help prop up the other messaging delivered via digital means such as social media, blog posts and newsletters, according to Mike Badour, General Manager of Smartmail Marketing and Partner Solutions at Canada Post.

“When integrated into a multi-media campaign, direct mail can amplify the lift of the total campaign across all media channels,” he says.

“The data assets available today allow for companies to easily integrate physical and digital together to provide increased results, compared to doing one or the other on their own.”

Research done by Canada Post shows that businesses can utilize direct mail to make a definite impact with customers. Details show that 39 per cent more time is spent with integrated direct mail and digital campaigns than with campaigns that use only digital messaging. Customers have 23 per cent higher brand recall with an integrated direct mail and email campaign than email-only initiatives. The sequencing also matters. For example, sending direct mail after the email can lead to 40 per cent higher brand recall.2

“Clients who use monthly digital newsletters, who simply added one or two physical pieces into the cycle, lifted engagement not only on the physical pieces but made their digital ones stronger,” Badour says.

Zero in on your ideal customer

When it comes to the ROI of direct mail, the results can be astonishing because it’s so easy to customize the content to reach a specific audience. The targeting this allows works for both big national retailers and the small shop around the corner – even tiny brands operating solely via e-commerce.

“Businesses can use direct mail to hyper-target their marketing through demographics and location,” Clodman says, adding that the pandemic has inspired some very unique strategies out of necessity.

“People are staying home more and making fewer visits to restaurants and shops. Through direct mail, businesses can reach out to their customers in unique ways and nurture those relationships,” she says.

“Local businesses can tap into consumers’ desires to support local business during the pandemic. And companies can provide coupons or promotional offers at a time when consumers might be in difficult financial circumstances.”

Longevity is another benefit to incorporating direct mail into your media plan. It tends to stick around the house for a while – moving from the mailbox to the foyer to the kitchen corkboard, maybe even getting pinned to the fridge.

As we so often find, tried-and-true methods are still the best. Added together, these benefits are all proof-positive that direct mail remains a robust and practical piece of the marketing strategy puzzle.

1 “Why direct mail marketing is far from dead”, Forbes, 2017.
2 Why Direct Mail, Canada Post.

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