Direct MailGeneral

Direct Marketing Vs Online Digital Marketing: What Works the Best?

By 18 October 2021December 17th, 2021No Comments
direct mail marketing vs online digital marketing

Direct Mail Marketing vs Online Digital Marketing — Statistics You Need to Know

Earlier, direct mail was very prevalent. Almost every company used this offline marketing form to reach out to prospects and customers.

Everyone liked sending and receiving letters in the mail. From then onwards, more direct mail items started gaining popularity like postcards. However, direct mail campaigns were expensive and difficult to track. They were also time-consuming and hectic to conduct.

direct mail marketing vs online digital marketing

Today, technology has taken over a lot of things including business marketing. Hence, companies now use digital or online marketing channels majorly. It is not wrong to say that digital marketing surpassed direct mail marketing with its benefits. But, direct mail marketing never became obsolete. Many people still use and love direct mail.

Moreover, automation has evolved direct mail marketing completely. Now, you can design, print, and mail your items effortlessly. Also, you can track mail items in real-time and get periodic reports.

Automation makes it easier to measure your campaign performance. Using these insights, you can design your future campaigns in a better way.

Digital marketing and direct mail marketing are both beneficial to businesses in their own ways. They have both evolved a lot in the past decade and can now work hand-in-hand if planned properly. In fact, this combination can improve your campaign effectiveness.

In this blog, we will find out the pros and cons of both direct and digital marketing. We will also talk about their differences and integration.

Digital Marketing (Online) Vs Direct Marketing (Offline)

List Direct Mail Marketing Statistics

  • Direct mail’s response rate is 30 times higher than that of email.
  • Marketing campaigns including direct mail are 27% more effective in generating increased sales. They are also 40% more likely to achieve high acquisition levels.
  • 81% of mail recipients go through their mail daily.
  • Direct mail can generate 4.9% response rates for prospects lists and 9% for house lists.
  • 79% of customers prefer reading mail over going online as it is more convenient.
  • 42% of millennials between ages 25-34 find mail useful and read it immediately.
  • Direct mail can increase your campaign ROI by 20% when used as part of an omnichannel campaign.
  • 30% of people have a positive reaction towards receiving letters from businesses. 22% of people react positively to receiving advertising cards or flyers from businesses.
  • 36% of customers look forward to checking business letters they receive in the mail.
  • 4 in 10 Americans look forward to checking their mail.
  • 70% of Americans find mail more personal than digital communication.
  • The response rates of physical mail and email are 3.7% and 1% respectively. Social media, mobile, and display ads also receive only 1%, 1%, and 0.2% response rates.
  • Direct mail generates a 29% return on investment.
  • Direct mail needs 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media.

List Digital Marketing Statistics

  • An average employee receives 121 emails daily.
  • People view 5,000 digital advertisements daily.
  • 78% of customers unsubscribe from emails due to excess emails from a brand.
  • Customers take only 5 minutes to delete 48% of the emails they get in a day.
  • Now, users check their emails 27% less than they did in the year 2016.
  • 37% (1/3rd) of Americans get overwhelmed by emails every day.
  • Only 44% of customers recall brands instantly after seeing an online ad. 75% of customers recall brands immediately after receiving a direct mail.

The above-stated direct mail vs digital marketing statistics shows that direct mail is better. The physical touch offered by direct mail is still preferred and loved by customers.

Now, let us understand both the marketing forms in-depth to understand better.

Understanding Direct Mail Marketing Strategy

Direct mail marketing has been used by marketers for many decades now. It is an offline marketing channel wherein you communicate with prospects directly.

Companies send physical marketing items to prospects like postcards and letters. Some of these companies also send personalized gifts to impress their high-end accounts.

Direct mail is also referred to as print and mail, snail-mail, and physical mail. It is capable of connecting with people emotionally. Also, people are thrilled to get mail.

A well-designed mail item with the right offer can drive responses significantly. Include your contact details so people can reach out to you.

People of All Ages Love Direct Mail

Baby boomers, generation X, and millennials all love direct mail. Direct mail influences 92% of millennials to buy something. 73% of millennials use coupons received in the mail to purchase.

Today, senior citizens also have access to the internet. But, they like getting things in the mail as it evokes nostalgia. Hence, you can impress people of all ages through physical mail.

Direct Mail Is Still Popularly Used

In 2019, the USPS delivered 143 billion mail items. With this figure running in hundreds of billions, we can say that direct mail is still hot.

But, does that mean all businesses are using direct mail?

The answer is no as most companies today use only digital marketing. Again, it is good news for you.

People receive a lot of mail every day. But, these mail items are sent by the same companies over and over again. There is less variety. So, you are likely to gain some attention if you design a great creative and pair it with exciting offers.

With less competition and more demand, you can nail your direct mailing efforts.

Direct Mail Gets More Responses

When it comes to response rates and campaign ROI, direct mail is way ahead of digital marketing. We will discuss this in the online marketing vs direct mail statistics below.

People tend to look up brands online before purchasing anything. They are likely to check their website and social media handles. It is informative, but not enough to gain people’s trust.

Meanwhile, direct mail continues to be a credible marketing channel. 90% of millennials find direct mail marketing trustworthy. Even older people and baby boomers trust direct mail. Hence, direct mail gets more engagement and responses.

Understanding Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing is trending and most marketers spend a lot on it. Email marketing can cost around $300 – $5,000 monthly. Whereas, social media marketing can cost as much as $10,000 monthly. Website designing rates start at $2,500 and can go up to $100k.

Digital marketing channels aren’t very expensive. But, if you are using more than one channel, the costs can multiply quickly.

Digital marketing is the modern-day marketing form. It can produce great results as most people use digital media daily. You can connect with a larger audience at global levels.

But, can digital marketing beat direct marketing? Let’s find out!

Digital Marketing Is Faster

Digital marketing can deliver immediate and quick results. You can adjust your marketing strategies at any stage of the campaign and adapt faster.

With direct mail, companies need to rely on USPS services to get your mail delivered. But, digital marketing puts you in charge completely.

Digital Marketing Is Hard to Track

Less than 20% of marketers measure their social media campaigns results. Most of these campaigns are conducted and forgotten about.

40% say that they find it difficult to measure the ROI of their digital marketing campaigns. Meanwhile, 63% of marketers struggle to generate traffic to their websites.

These statistics make it clear that digital marketing is hard to track. There are no accurate results, making it difficult to say whether the campaign succeeded.

In some ways, direct mail performs exceptionally well. But, digital marketing is also good in its own way. There are advantages and disadvantages attached to both. So, how can you make the right decision?

Omnichannel Marketing: Combining Direct Mail and Digital Marketing

An excellent marketing strategy is selecting the right combination of marketing channels to use simultaneously.

You don’t have to make any tough decisions, especially when you know both the forms are quite good. Combine direct mail and online marketing to create an integrated customer journey.

Customers expect brands to be visible everywhere. They expect them to have a website with detailed information and contact details. At the same time, they would love to receive direct mail from businesses. Marketers should keep up with their target audience’s expectations.

Find below some ways in which you can combine online and offline marketing:

Drive Online Traffic Through Direct Mail

Make sure to include your website and social media links in your direct mail items. Your mail CTA could be signing up for your newsletter for a 10% discount.

It is crucial to encourage prospects to connect with you via several channels. This way, you can increase your online presence and brand visibility.

Ask Your Website Visitors to Fill a Survey to Get a Gift

Several marketers use this technique to collect customer information. They persuade them to fill up forms in exchange for something.

There are two benefits of this method:

  • You get the customer’s mailing address, contact number, and other details.
  • You can send them a direct mail item that can push them further down the sales funnel.

Talk About Your Online Business Through Direct Mail

If you own an eCommerce website, you can connect with prospects offline. Send them a personalized postcard or letter to motivate them to visit your website. Other online businesses like digital-only banks can do the same.

Spread Awareness About Your Physical Store Via Digital Media

Restaurants, supermarkets, boutiques, and other offline businesses can increase brand awareness online.

They can create a website for people to find them. Also, they can use their social media handles to post regularly. These things can increase their coverage.

Drop an Email After Your Mail Delivery

For added effect, you can conduct an email campaign after sending direct mail. This way, you can communicate your message more effectively.

Send postcards to your website visitors, newsletter subscribers, and social media followers. It is the best way to combine online and offline marketing.

5 Ways to Make Your Direct Mail Campaigns a Huge Success

1. Design Appealing Mail Pieces

You only have a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention. Design mail items that make recipients view and read them.

Direct mail is tangible. It can be seen and touched. You can make the most out of it by using creatives that are pleasing to the eye. Highlight your headlines and use relevant imagery.

Visuals matter a lot in the direct mail vs internet marketing competition. Though digital marketers also design attractive creatives, direct mail has more to offer.

You can use embossed envelopes to make recipients open your mail. Furthermore, marketers can also use handwritten messages to impress their customers. PostGrid’s print and mail API enables you to print messages using handwritten fonts.

Also, concentrate on the colors that you use in your creative. They should suit your message and add a visual appeal to your mail.

2. Use Variable Data Printing

Adding the recipient’s name to their mail item increases response rates by a whopping 135%. People like items addressed directly to them. They tend to pay more attention to them and also respond.

97% of marketers saw a sharp rise in results due to personalization. 63% of marketers state that personalization can increase customers interactions and conversion rates.

These statistics indicate that personalization is the key to success. Thus, direct mail marketers can use variable data printing to generate more responses.

3. Segment Mailing Lists

While discussing direct marketing vs online marketing, consider your audience. Online marketing uses purchase history, buying behavior, and certain demographics for targeting prospects.

You can do the same thing with direct mail marketing. Print and mail postcards to website visitors, social media followers, and other prospects.

Marketers can incorporate several geo-demographics based on factors like age, gender, annual income, and location. Some of them take a step ahead and also use psychographics like preferences and likes.

Segmenting mailing lists enables you to conduct targeted marketing. You can only focus on people that are likely to buy from you, thereby increasing response rates.

It is also important to update your mailing lists frequently. Make sure all the addresses are CASS certified. Also, consider NCOA files while cleaning your lists.

PostGrid can help you build segmented mailing lists from scratch. Hence, you can get started with direct mail marketing without having your own lists.

4. Don’t Forget to Include Compelling Offers

People save postcards with attractive offers such as giveaways and discounts. Hence, offer something irresistible to prospects. All your mail items should include offers that can spark interest among the recipients.

Make these offers time-bound so that recipients act faster.

For example, try highlighting offers like ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free,’ or ‘Purchase before 30th September to get a 25% discount.’

These offers are the motivation prospects need to move ahead in the sales funnel. A direct mail item without a relevant offer is no good.

5. Add a Strong CTA

You can include any of the following CTA’s in your direct mail items. Ask the recipients to:

  • Sign up on your website
  • Visit your physical store
  • Scan a QR code
  • Call a toll-free number
  • Use certain hashtags on social media
  • Click on a PURL
  • Shop from you before a certain date

Use trackable CTAs so that you can keep accurate records of your campaign responses.

Most marketers use a CTA to get prospects one step closer to conversion. Others take the direct route and ask them to purchase something. Either way, use a CTA that works for your business.

For example, if you own a pizza franchise, you would probably ask people to use a coupon code and order. But, if you are an interior designer, things would be different. You would expect prospects to visit your studio before they give you any contracts.

Wrapping Up

The best way to find out which marketing channel works best for you is by testing. Employ the required A/B testing methods and measure results.

You need to find the right combination for using different channels together. Consider all the marketing forms that suit your industry and conduct small-scale campaigns.

If something is delivering good results, use it to the fullest. It is the smartest and most efficient way of marketing.

Direct mail vs digital marketing statistics proved that direct mail produces better results. Direct mail is a blessing in today’s time where people install ad blockers and delete emails. Yet, integrated marketing plans can enhance your direct mailing efforts.

PostGrid’s print and mail API can integrate into your system and help you mail easily. Our pre-built templates enable marketers to design their own collateral. Further, you can print and mail all your items in an automated way.

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