Should You Use Direct Mail?

Does your business need direct mail marketing in a seemingly digital marketing world?

Direct mail was once the easiest way to get in front of your customer, keep you front of mind and maintain consistent communication. However, in today’s digital landscape, do you really need to make room in your budget for paper?

Recently, Nordstrom Co-President Erik Nordstrom reported a less than favorable Q1. The root cause? Nordstrom eliminated their direct mail approach to their loyalty program in an effort to move towards a larger digital presence. This resulted in a large drop in foot traffic. Turns out, Nordstrom shoppers rely on the paper.

It is rare that we hear reports of direct mail elimination having such a negative effect on business, so that forces us to ask the question… Is direct mail making a come back?

It may be too early to tell, and FIG wouldn’t suggest cutting direct mail from your budget just yet.

In fact, The Direct Marketing Assocation found (with data from Bizo and Epsilon) that the average response rate for direct mail was 4.4% while the average response rate to email was a mere 0.12%. However given the low cost of email, it still rules when it comes to ROI. Email marketing boasts an average $28.50 return, compared to $7 for direct mail.

The best approach for your brand? Audience research and testing. In some industries, like non-profits and grocery stores, direct mail still rules. FIG can conduct a thorough analysis of your database to understand how your consumer reacts both to direct mail and email marketing. Depending on your business type, you may need to consider reinvestment in relevant mail over digital marketing and vice versa.

What are your thoughts on direct marketing?