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In the Digital Age, Can Direct Mail Still Deliver Results?

The world has changed a lot in the last twenty years – nobody can argue with that. The digital revolution has totally changed the way we think about doing business. Online transactions now account for the majority of money being spent around the world, and digital marketing has become a massive industry in itself. Every year, billions of dollars are spent in the realm of digital marketing. Countless conferences and trade shows are held, exploring various digital marketing strategies. New techniques are popping up all the time. Staying relevant requires constant insight and careful strategy.

Given the extreme focus on digital marketing, especially in the last decade, you might think that direct mail has become a totally ineffective tool for marketing a service or product. Why send a paper flier or letter to someone’s physical mailbox, when you could simply email your message, or use one of the main social media channels (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter) to get your message out?

The answer is fairly straightforward: Because digital is so easy, everybody does it. Email lists are relatively easy to buy or make. Social media accounts are free, with affordable paid advertising options on most channels. Digital marketing firms are everywhere, promising to get your message in front of people and win you more conversions.

In other words, the digital arena is flooded with information. The easier it gets, the harder it is to be seen or heard over the noise. Here is where direct mail marketing can play a unique role in a business landscape that has increasingly gone digital. By getting “back to basics” with physical marketing messages, companies are able to bypass the digital noise and make use of another channel altogether – one that many people had ruled out.

But is this wishful thinking? Can direct mail marketing actually make a difference in this day and age, or is it just a waste of time and money? Do people actually read direct mailings, or do they simply move them immediately into the recycling bin?

Obviously, even with the finest direct mail campaign, some people are simply not going to be interested in the message. Rates of conversation are, however, demonstrably strong with direct mail marketing. If this strategy weren’t working, some of the world’s most successful businesses would not still be using it. By carefully crafting your message, and paying close attention to the timing and demographics of your mailing, rates of conversation can be significantly higher than what you get with a standard e-mail push.

It all depends on who’s in your corner

Businesses large and small have proven in recent years that direct mail is not only relevant – it can actually give you a big advantage over competitors who exclusively market in the digital space. But there is a very wide spectrum of quality and effectiveness when it comes to direct mail marketing. Where will your project land on that spectrum? The answer depends on the people you choose to make your project a reality.

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