What Is Direct Mail?

You might be more familiar with this type of advertising than you realise! Direct Mail is the leaflets, cards and postcards that are sent through your letterbox. It is addressed to you personally, sometimes in an envelope. I know what you’re thinking… where does this fit into my media plan?


With Digital Marketing seeming to dominate for the last few years, especially social media, it has pushed other channels to adapt and keep up with the times. Direct Mail can be targeted, personalised, and measured, but unlike digital, it is a physical, material object consumers can see in the real world. So, it could well be time to review your assumptions with this traditional, well-established channel…

When to use Direct Mail?


Direct Mail offers the chance to reengage with your lapsed customers and is a great way to make use of the data you already have. The personal touch of addressing it to the customer makes your campaign more effective, with Direct Mail having an average open rate of 80%. If you have a new product or offer you want to introduce to your customers, a mailer can start the conversation. As mentioned, Direct Mail is very much keeping up with the times, QR codes, AR and personalised URLs all encourage the consumer to interact with the mailer and encourage them to search for the brand, 70% of people have been driven towards an online activity by Direct Mail. This highlights the impact of Direct Mail alongside other channels, and its key role within the marketing mix, driving recipients to take action. I don’t know about you but when I receive mail that offers 10% off, I’m definitely going onto the website! It reminds me that maybe I haven’t purchased from the brand for a while…


Mailers also tend to have longevity and its presence in the home means it is interacted with more than four times, this gives your brand repeat exposure for essentially the cost of 1 campaign. The recipient can pin the mailer on the fridge, search the brand, forget to complete the purchase and be reminded of this next time they reach for the milk! In a rather digital world, it stands out by directly reaching the consumer in their home and grounding the brand by having a physical presence in a rather cluttered advertising landscape(even Netflix has adverts now, you know what I mean).


In summary, the perfect time to use this channel is when you want to remind your customers what a fabulous brand you are and entice them with new product launches and offers.


Direct Mail and other channels go hand in hand


Royal Mail commissioned a study by Neuro-Insight to uncover what happens in a consumer’s brain when they receive physical and digital media. I won’t regurgitate the report and take up your whole day (here is the link to the full study if you want it - https://www.marketreach.co.uk/sites/default/files/Mail-Cuts-Through%20Report.pdf) But some really interesting key takeaways are:


·     Mail is 49% more memorable than email

·     Mail is 35% more memorable than social media advertising

·     Mail is 33% more engaging than email

·     Mail is 35% more engaging than social media advertising


This indicates that mail has a place within your media plan, as it creates impactful and memorable interactions. Bringing digital campaigns into the real world, with a tangible mailer. Direct Mail creates an uplift alongside other channels, and when it’s used as the lead channel within a campaign it amplifies the messages of other channels. As part of the customer journey, we hear an advert on our Alexa, we see a bus go past us as we shop inthe town, we scroll on our phones and get served the advert again, and finally a mailer arrives…addressed to us (we’re all human and when something has our name on it, we give it more attention) building brand trust. Research by WARC found that when Direct Mail is used within the marketing mix, the ROI increased for 35% of campaigns, compared to 23% for the average.


Is Direct Mail cool?


Your other assumption might be that only older consumers interact with mailers? That couldn’t be further from the truth. Gen Z are very responsive to a physical element alongside digital, research shows 9 out 10 of Gen Z prefer this blend. 15 – 24 year olds are more likely to trust mail than any other age group, 45% of them trust a brand that uses Direct Mail. QR codes also talk the Gen Z language, with 84% of Gen Z scanning a QR code received in the mail to interact with a brand online. So, if you’re looking to drive action from Gen Z – Direct Mail can help you achieve this.



Okay, it’s cool. Is it green?


I know another concern for many brands will be the paper usage, what is the environmental impact? And it is going to damage your green credentials? Direct Mail has changed with the times, carbon balanced paper means it is recyclable and biodegradable. There are ways to offset the CO2 emissions from vehicle impacts and electricity usage. Printing and delivery actually help protect habitats and wildlife internationally when the media owners are carbon offsetting. The media owners we work with are World Land Trust certified and we can help delve deeper into the offsetting process if your brand wants to.



The proof is in the pudding (well, in the statistics) that Direct Mail increases customer loyalty and boosts revenue. It also resonates well with young people and it is in fact, green. So, if you want to talk about your first Direct Mail campaign or how we can improve how you use Direct Mail, please reach out to info@bbjandk.com