10 Reasons Why Direct Mail Marketing Still Works


Many companies have written off direct mail as a thing of the past. Businesses are now focusing most of their marketing efforts on digital marketing. However, direct mail marketing still has a lot to offer. So, it would be unwise to consign this form of marketing to the history books too soon.

Businesses cannot afford to neglect online marketing. Even so, direct mail campaigns can be beneficial when used in tandem with digital marketing. Here are ten reasons why direct mail marketing is still an effective marketing strategy, even in the digital age.

1. Cuts Through the Noise

Internet users are inundated with ads all day long. Banners, sidebar ads, and intrusive popups have become so common that people are becoming ad blind. Meanwhile, the amount of direct mail that people receive has been declining. Consumers are no longer overwhelmed with daily piles of junk mail. So, a well-conceived direct mail campaign can cut through the noise and get noticed by people in their homes.

2. More Personal

Digital marketing can be very impersonal. Even an email marketing campaign to a warm mailing list can come across as nothing more than mass advertising. However, when something comes in the mail addressed to the consumer, it appears far more personal. Direct mail also demonstrates that more effort has been put into the campaign. So, direct mail advertising material seems less disposable.

3. A Broader Audience

The internet provides access to millions of people. However, it would be a mistake to assume that everyone is online every day. Although 81% of Americans say they go online once every day, only 28% say they are online most of the day. These statistics demonstrate that many people only go online briefly to perform a specific task and probably do not look at many advertisements. Conversely, everyone opens their mail and gives all their physical mail at least a cursory read.

4. It’s Tangible

Emails can disappear into the spam folder, and online ads can be easily ignored. On the other hand, a physical mailer can be touched, read, and put to one side for reference or reading later. The tangible nature of direct mail can make the advertising more compelling, more memorable, and sincere. There are also more options for creating marketing collateral that will stand out from the rest when you use the physical medium of direct mail.

5. Direct Mail Has More Authority

Direct mail is ranked as one of the most authoritative types of marketing. Almost anyone can pay for online advertising, but direct mail shows that a business has invested effort, time, and money in their advertising campaign. Direct mail also has a more formal feel to it, further adding to the collateral’s authority. If the marketing material is of high enough quality, it looks like it deserves to be opened and read.

6. Longer Lifespan

If you design your direct mail campaigns well, your marketing collateral could have value for weeks, months, or even years. Suppose you mailed out a branded physical calendar, for example. Then that calendar could be hanging on someone’s wall for the next twelve months. Even something as simple as a flyer might be put in a drawer for future reference. Emails, though, are deleted in seconds or lost amongst all the spam. Even a saved email is likely to get buried in a folder with all the other unread emails.

7. Increases Engagement

No one would suggest that direct mail can now replace digital marketing. However, a direct mail campaign is an excellent way to get more people to engage with your online presence. For example, you could include a discount code in your direct mail that can be redeemed online. And, because direct mail is less common now and more personal, a discount code can appear to be much more of an exclusive offer for the recipient.

8. More Opportunities to Get Creative

Online advertising is relatively limited in terms of the formats that are available. With physical mail, though, you can send postcards, flyers, formal letters, brochures, and more. You can also send items of value through the mail, like free gifts. Something as simple as an inexpensive pen, for example, will encourage more people to open and read your direct mail. Free gifts and other items of value sent in the mail also allow you to benefit from the principle of reciprocity.

9. People Trust Direct Mail

Gaining people’s trust is crucial in any marketing. With all the fake websites and phishing scams on the internet, people have become suspicious of digital marketing. Because direct marketing requires effort, people are generally less suspicious about direct mail marketing they receive.  

10. Cost-effective

Studies have shown that direct mail can achieve a higher return on investment than digital marketing. Companies also have complete control over how much they spend on physical direct mail campaigns. You can produce professional-looking physical marketing collateral for surprisingly low unit costs, and that collateral can be stored and used as and when required. Some studies have shown that some direct mail campaigns can generate a 13 to 1 return on investment for businesses.


Many businesses have turned their backs on direct mail. But they may have been premature in writing off this old-fashioned form of marketing. Direct mail is often trusted more by consumers. In some situations, a high-quality direct mail campaign can bring a greater return on investment than digital marketing. So, if you have deserted direct mail, it might be time for a rethink.

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