Laura Barnett

The re-birth of direct mail – does it still have a place in the marketing mix?

Direct Mail – making a come back?

I don’t know about you, but the seemingly relentless advances in digital technology makes me feel rather old. I remember when ‘inbox’ was the in-tray on my desk, when Flash was something I cleaned the floor with, and the screech of the modem whilst you were ‘dialing in’ to the internet. Haven’t we come a long way? There’s no doubt that the web has dramatically evolved and influenced how marketing is done, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that traditional methods of communication, like direct mail, no longer have a place in the modern marketing mix.

According to Central Mailing, 48% of the UK population responded to a direct mail piece they received in 2013. Not only that, but 62% of people said they would like to receive mail telling them about new offers. If these stats are anything to go by, direct mail is very much alive today – and continues to be a lead generation and nurturing powerhouse for many businesses.

We’ve identified several reasons why we believe direct mail is making a comeback:

Email overload
Only a few years ago, we were all getting a lot of junk mail through the post – and most mail made it to the bin before it was even opened. Three or four years later, direct mail has become a somewhat scarce marketing channel, and instead, it’s now our email inbox that’s bombarded with SPAM and unwanted messages. Far fewer companies are using direct mail these days, which means there are fewer direct mail pieces competing for attention.

Receiving a clever and personalised direct mail piece through the post has become a novelty – and when done in the right way, can have a much bigger impact with the customer compared to digital components that have now become overused.

Appeals to all five senses
Direct mail can appeal to all five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and even taste. As we get more overloaded with technology and digital marketing, the appeal of having something to hold – whether it’s a postcard, flyer, or even a corporate gift creates a much more memorable and engaging experience.

Personalisation & targeting
As with any marketing initiative, a tailored and targeted approach always delivers the best results. New technologies have enabled us to anticipate customer needs and preferences, and tailor content in order to best serve customers. The sophisticated technology that now exists enables marketers to harness and utilise big data to further target and personalise direct mail in order to drive immediate engagement conversions and revenue.

Digital printing is also advancing and proving to be more cost effective, allowing messages to be personalised for better engagement. These small touches could mean the difference between what ends up in the bin and what they choose to engage with.

Drive digital interaction
In an age where businesses rely so heavily on driving traffic to their websites, traditional forms of marketing can be used to influence online initiatives. This combination can help drive prospects to a landing page, participate in an online survey, or sign up for a webinar – where you can encourage prospects to interact and engage further with your content.


Marketing will continue to evolve and change as new digital capabilities help marketers engage more closely with their customers. Just because direct mail isn’t the newest trick in the book, doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. Direct mail has stood the test of time. When balanced with the right creative, optimal data and relevant targeting, it can be a reliable way to deliver compelling personalised messages.

Contact Torpedo if you need help sparking some great direct mail ideas to communicate your message. We’re oozing with inspiration!

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