Direct Mail Campaigns vs Online Advertising

What works best?

As we become more involved with technology and the internet everyday people assume that everything must be done online and if not you may fall behind, but is that really the case?

Direct mail vs online advertising is a common argument and if you were to pick one without doing your research majority of people would say that online advertising is the way to go. However, with recent developments in direct mail marketing suggest that it is time to re-evaluate the situation.

Here are a few points that show why:

  • 70% of people say physical mail is more personal than email.
  • 80% – 90% of direct mail gets opened, while only 20% – 30% of email gets opened.
  • Direct mail has more of an emotional impact over online advertising resulting in a stronger recall.
  • The response rate to direct mail is 3.7%, in comparison to 2% for mobile, 1% for email, 1% social media and 0.2% for internet display.
  • 37% of Americans say they are overwhelmed by email every day.
  • The response rate for direct mail advertising is more than 30 times the response rate for email.
  • 94% of people react positively to receiving something with a personal touch.

There used to be many difficulties behind direct mail marketing and it was far too time consuming, and it with email and other online tools it seemed to be the better quicker option, this has now changed thanks to the rise of sending platforms. Direct mail can now be as easy as sending an email because of these sending platforms, they store, source, package and track the items so you don’t have to worry about that.

Just take a look at your email inbox, how many emails are left unopened? We are constantly sent junk mail so much so that majority of people choose to ignore it, but people still pick up and look through their physical mail. As discussed in this direct mail study, 77% of people still look through their direct mail, so when you think about it direct mail gives you more of a chance of getting your message seen by the right people.

Online advertising is ideal for offering your services to consumers, and for them to purchase there and then. For example if someone sees an ad for a particular item online they can have that item bought within a few minutes, this is why online advertising is also important especially for impulse buyers and speedy purchases, however direct mail invokes customer loyalty and trust. For example you may not click on an ad for a mortgage company but if you received personal direct mail you would be more likely to follow through.

Now I’m not trying to say you must do one or the other but its about incorporating a nice blend of both in order to reach out to as many customers as possible but also forming a trust with consumers with a personal touch. In an age of online advertising, direct mail marketing has not lost its power.

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