Direct Mail Isn’t Dead: How Snail Mail Can Boost Your Acquisition Marketing

Written on
Jul 17, 2017 
Adotas  |

Tim Carr, the chief lifter at LIFT Agency, shares his insights on using direct mail in the digital age.

For decades, direct mail was seen as a surefire way for brands to reach consumers. But due to the rise of less expensive, more exciting digital channels, much of the marketing world has shifted away from this seemingly outdated medium.

If your digital marketing team falls into the “snail mail is dead” school of thought, consider this: Direct mail is quietly becoming a top-performing digital ROI driver for old and young audiences alike.

Mailbox Mania: Thanks to a combination of paperless billing, rising postage costs, and the ubiquity of social networks, physical mailboxes have never been emptier. Compared to a typical spam-flooded email inbox, they offer significant opportunities to engage and connect with consumers on a personal level.

In our agency’s experience, a personalized, relevant touchpoint through direct mail can engage and motivate an audience to respond to a digital call to action much more effectively than emails, web banners, and social media ads. For example, rather than send a special offer via email and hope it avoids the spam folder, marketers could instead send the right attention-grabbing format that has a much higher likelihood of breaking through and driving a response.
With a sound strategy in place, here are three specific ways a direct mail strategy will lift your acquisition marketing results:

1. Higher Engagement: Direct mail stands out, demands attention, and feels important. According to a recent InfoTrends report, 66 percent of direct mail is opened, and 82 percent of those messages are read for at least one minute. Even the greatest email marketers in the world can’t come anywhere close to achieving those numbers.

Unlike emails, direct mail cannot be automatically filtered into spam folders or deleted with one click. Consumers must literally hold it in their hands and assess whether it’s important to them — often with a much better attention span to consider your offer.

Believe it or not, Millennials (and their immense purchasing power) are among the most responsive demographics to direct mail. According to a United States Postal Service study, they spend more time sorting mail than members of any other generation, and they are the least likely to throw something away without at least giving it a glance.

2. Trustworthiness: Consumers have trained their brains to avoid or reject most digital marketing messages. In an era when everything is going digital, “fake news” is running amok, display ads are increasingly blocked, and emails are being ignored, print media just feels more trustworthy and credible. In fact, USPS also found that 90 percent of Millennials trust print messaging more than digital.

3. Superior Personalized Targeting: You don’t need to break the bank and send offers to every household. Instead, integrate your digital data to create a compelling mailing list that sends the right message to just the right household.

The right integration of your data combined with variable printing advancements will provide a compelling, relevant experience that is sure to drive a higher response.

Direct mail done right can very well become your most powerful conversion-driving tactic. So the next time you’re planning a digital campaign or promotion, consider investing in direct mail, as well, for better net cost per lead, acquisition, and sales.

Physical mailboxes are feeling lonely. Your target is looking forward to receiving your next great letter.

Tim Carr is the chief lifter at LIFT Agency and is dedicated to generating positive results for any direct and digital marketing objective. He is a pioneer in profit-driven marketing.

After leading some of the most successful direct programs at AOL, he founded LIFT in 2003. Tim understands how to motivate audiences, and his clients know they can rely on him and the LIFT team to create result-lifting solutions to their most complex marketing issues.


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