It’s simple. Today’s letterbox is comparatively empty compared to our email inboxes and social media feeds, meaning brands can get their message in front of a significantly broader proportion of their target audience. Let’s use email campaigns as an example. If you’re getting a 25% open rate with your email sends, you’re probably pretty happy, right? Now compare that to the 100% of direct mail recipients that will, at the very least, pick up the catalogue (or whatever format the brand has chosen) and view the front and/or back cover to work out who it’s from and who it’s for before deciding on whether to keep it or put it in the recycling. Not bad! And that will be the case whether you’re targeting existing customers or prospect audiences.
Direct mail’s primary purpose is to drive sales. If you look at a catalogue or any other form of direct mail marketing from retailers, the call to action will be to go online (or pick up the phone!) and buy. What’s more, catalogues, in particular, give marketers more space for more products and, coupled with the fact that human beings like to browse tactile things, this means average order values are generally 15-20% higher than the average across digital acquisition channels.
This follows closely from sales. Direct mail is dead easy to measure. Offer codes allow you to track performance day by day (as you’ll do with your digital campaigns) but you can also run “matchbacks” to identify the names and addresses from the audience you mailed that purchased during the campaign window. Recipients will not always use an offer code so this is vital to get an accurate read on performance. You can then report accurately at CPA, ROAS and contribution level, making it very easy to justify further investment in the channel.