Direct Mail Is Marketing’s Workhorse

The following article was originally published by Target Marketing. To read more of their content, subscribe to their newsletter, Target Marketing Financial Services.

Though many marketers label direct mail costly, they recognize its value — often noting its ROI. About 69% of marketers continue to use it, according to Target Marketing’s newly released study, “Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016.”

In 2016, that 69% figure was joined by a single-digit response of marketers cutting back in the channel. Six percent of marketers responding to the survey cut back on direct mail spending in 2016 — which notably doesn’t include eliminating the channel from the marketing mix.

The research touting those numbers is the result of Target Marketing analyzing years of “Media Usage Survey” data. This “Direct Mail” section of the report is part of a benchmarking of marketing media channels, technology and tactics included in the Target Marketing/NAPCO Research study. Both Target Marketing and NAPCO Research are NAPCO Media brands.

Direct Mail, Marketing’s Workhorse

This is an excerpt from Target Marketing’s research, “Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016.”

Related story: The Marketing Mix 2010-2016: 6-Year Study Reveals Key Budget Trends

Findings from the "Direct Mail" section of the “Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016" study

Direct response marketing’s workhorse continues to work, with 69% of respondents either increasing or maintaining their use of it during 2016, a level comparable with results from the past five years. In 2016, granted, more marketers kept their level of use steady and fewer increased it than in years past. Of note, however, is that only 6% cut back on it — the lowest such level in half a decade.

Apparently the mid-year postage rate increases, which fell heavily on First Class letters and flats, weren’t enough to deter marketers, especially given the drop in First Class Metered Mail rates. The continued strength of direct mail is also reflected in personalization’s continued use: Recipients react well when offers are clearly tailored to them.

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