Why Direct Mail (as in paper!) Works Better Than Online Marketing, Sometimes.

I’m a super geek (whatever that means) and sneered at postal direct mail as being old fashioned and out of date. “We all throw out junk mail”, I would scoff. However, I’m wrong.

Email marketing gets rates of 20% – 50% open rates and we’re happy (many campaigns get less).

That means we send 10,000 emails and maybe 2,000 open the email – being very optimistic.

Then maybe 10% of those take action to click on a link so that’s only about 200 and even less probably actually buy. But we keep doing online marketing of a variety of ways – email marketing, cost per click advertising and etc.

Guess what – direct mail is very similar? I’m not going to give you all the stats, but direct mail does work. Sure it’s hard to track the results, sure it’s not as fancy as a digital campaign, but it does drive sales.

This weekend we (my family) went to buy a table. Our CFO (my wife) had a flyer in hand from a local furniture company. This is what got us in our car to get a $500 dining table with 6 chars. I’m sure there are similar sales information coming through Twitter, email and more. But guess what? For sharing sales like this, to reach my wife, an old fashioned direct mail campaign was best.

So what’s my point?

Business owners and markets don’t down one method of doing marketing (or anything else), if it works. One type of marketing might be great for one segment of customers and one particular thing and one method might be great for something else.

You know what’s nice about “junk mail” when it comes to your postal box and you take it out, you can scan much more of the offer in a post card or big flyer than a subject line of an email newsletter.

Looking for a way to use direct mail more effectively – check out Direct Mail Manager

7 thoughts on “Why Direct Mail (as in paper!) Works Better Than Online Marketing, Sometimes.

  1. W3 Consulting

    So, so true! I consistently keep hearing how my clients are being told that Social Media marketing is the only way to go and that other methods should be scorned. There is a reason I keep a balanced perspective (always look at all avenues of marketing along with my clients, public relations, sales, advertising (even direct mail!), branding/corporate identity, Web/Social Media/Mobile (if that’ even its own category yet) and referral network marketing), and I consistently recommend that my clients and Small Business audiences to which I speak the same. There are smart ways to track data and the Web is ubiquitous, but it’s not always the most effective for certain psychographic or technographic profiles. Thanks for getting the message out, Ramon!

  2. jmoad

    many marketers have abandoned direct mail completely as a technique of
    the past, direct mail can sometimes be more effective at reaching
    customers than email marketing. Email marketing rates typically get a
    20-50% open rate and even smaller percentage where a link is clicked or
    an item is bought. Direct mail may have similar open rates, but the
    sales it drives is distinctly higher. Most online marketing automation
    software have discarded direct mail as a marketing technique except for
    OfficeAutopilot. I used OfficeAutopilot software to create postcards to
    send to my customers that were automatically mailed
    once I set the dates and times for events like birthdays, new client
    welcome, and appointment reminders. These postcards gave me an even
    higher sales rate because the customers didn’t even have to open an
    envelope. I believe that the future of online marketing is the
    embodiment of both direct mail techniques and new forms of email
    marketing. OfficeAutopilot is unique in its software with its inclusion
    of both these techniques.


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