Direct Mail Study Show’s Value of Direct Mail

neuromarketing study validated Canada Post’s hypothesis that direct mail is more effective at driving consumer action than digital advertising.

Their study shows compelling reasons to introduce direct mail into your small business marketing.

Higher Recall Rates for Direct Mail

According to the study, participants ” When asked to cite the brand (company name) of an advertisement they had just seen, participants’ recall was 70% higher if they were exposed to a direct mail piece (75%) rather than a digital ad (44%)”.

Direct Mail Motivates More

The researchers also found direct mail to be a greater motivator. The researchers “usually consider a 2% to 5% positive difference to be a predictive indicator of future behavioural change”. Yet, the study showed that the potential for direct mail to motivate action is 20% higher than digital. Researchers were surprised by the significant  difference — “By any standard, a 20% difference in motivation response is very, very big.” Ultimately, what most businesses are looking for when they advertise it to get their potential customers to act.

Direct Mail Content Easier to Absorb

The study also goes on to show that direct mail is easier to understand and more memorable than digital media. It seems that the touching and holding of the physical piece cause our brain to view and absorb the content easier than with digital.

Also, we must consider that direct mail has the ability to reach most homes in a targeted area, something digital isn’t able to. Add this to the fact that many individuals today choose not to share email addresses with business and often provide secondary emails that are neglected or read at a delayed date. Even marketing emails which do get sent to primary email accounts can be quickly neglected or left unopened and later deleted without opening because the current recipient is busy with the task at hand. Email lacks that physical tactile nature which makes it a little easier to ignore.

Millennials Embrace Direct Mail

While its true many today may feel direct mail is no longer a suitable vehicle to reach the younger tech generation, according to the InfoTrends study, “Direct Marketing Production Printing & Value-Added Services: U.S. Report,” millennials are the most likely of generation to embrace direct mail. Surprisingly, 25% of millennials consider reading direct mail a leisure activity. Perhaps in the world of backlit phones, direct mail provides a welcome tactile change which makes it a little more special to the reader.

Utilize Direct Mail’s Ability to Drive Behavior

It seems like the prudent decision would be to combine the more action-oriented direct mail with digital marketing.  Blending direct mail and digital should lead to the best of both worlds, allowing direct mail to help drive both online and in-store sales.