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March 28, 2022

7 Benefits of Direct Mail for D2C Marketing

by 
Kim Courvoisier

The direct-to-consumer (D2C) market has seen significant growth in recent years, as more companies, both big and small, market directly to customers instead of selling through intermediaries such as retailers. While on the surface D2C marketing might seem like an easy way to reach your audience, D2C brands grapple with many of the same issues B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) marketers do. 

Like every modern business, you're looking for the best way to promote your products or services and keep your brand top of mind without breaking the bank. In recent years, many successful D2C brands have turned to direct mail marketing as a viable solution and as part of their omnichannel strategy. Harry's, Casper, Wayfair, and Marley Spoon are just a few examples of D2C brands using creatively designed direct mailers.

If you’re using direct mail as part of your D2C marketing strategy, here are seven benefits you can expect from strengthening your direct mail campaigns.

1. Direct mail has the highest ROI and plays well with your digital channels

In the 2022 State of Direct Mail, 67% of marketers said that direct mail has the highest ROI of all the channels they use.

If a customer has interacted with your brand digitally, they may respond to a physical piece of marketing—such as a direct mail offer—in ways that they wouldn't respond to a digital advertisement. And vice versa. Using digital and direct mail together creates a strong omnichannel marketing strategy. When digital and direct mail is combined, marketers see:

  • 40% conversion rates
  • 68% increased website visits
  • 63% increased response rates
  • 60% increased ROI
  • 53% increased leads

2. Consumers don't always open emails, but they read direct mail

According to Statista, more than 300 billion emails are sent each day. If a brand’s main marketing channel is email, a majority of its offers may get lost in a sea of similar messages. However, there are fewer direct mailpieces than in recent years, which makes them a brilliant opportunity for D2C brands to get noticed.

ThirdLove sells intimate apparel and is focused on high quality, comfortable and body-inclusive garments. ThirdLove recently tested using direct mail in a retention campaign that was a bit unusual.

ThirdLove tested taking a segment of their email subscribers that had unsubscribed and sent them a direct mail campaign. Their theory was that the people who unsubscribed still wanted to receive offers and promotions from the brand, just not in the form of another email.

And their retention campaign proved that theory right. They found out that their direct campaign achieved the best results and the highest response rates with email unsubscribers. And those were customers that would have just dropped out of reach before they modernized their direct mail capabilities.  That’s the power of modern direct mail.

While repetition is important, it’s not always about the number of times your audience is exposed to an offer: relevance and attention are key. Fresh Direct is a perfect example of a D2C brand that has taken off as a result of its direct mail offers. The company sends out promo codes for fresh groceries both in digital and direct mailings, with product coupons that can be redeemed in any store.

3. Direct mail response rates are higher than email

In a direct mail campaign, responses can reach up to 90%, much higher than that of the average email campaign. In fact, direct mail has a response rate 13 times higher than email. When you’re communicating with customers who’ve made a previous purchase, rates jump to 18%. Combine direct mail with email, and you have response rates north of 27%. In one study, 70% of consumers polled felt that direct mail was much more personal than any online interaction. It's ideal to test out each channel, compare data insights, and see what types of campaigns customers prefer. Case in point, thredUP experienced a 25% increase in repeat purchases after implementing automated direct mail.

4. Save money with address verification

D2C brands benefit from mailing lists that have been compiled from various data sources, but before you spend the time and money to send direct mail to your lists, you need to verify that your address information is accurate. Fortunately, this is easy to do with direct mail automation that includes address verification

Many Lob customers have cut costs by 50% after implementing address verification to ensure that addresses are deliverable and everything that is sent arrives at the right place, at the right time—every time.

5. Direct mail marketing is more affordable than ever

If you're making an ongoing investment in direct mail, it's important to know that cost depends on things like graphics, copy, file format, printing, personalization, and postage. When considering how to optimize your direct mail campaigns, it's important to consider your budget and understand all the factors.

The cost of direct mail can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the campaign. However, there are some general costs that can be expected.

  • Printing - the cost of paper, ink, and the printing process itself
  • Postage - the cost to send the direct mail piece to its destination
  • Production - includes design and production costs, as well as any mailing list acquisition costs (e.g., paying copywriters, designers, or anyone else involved in the process)

Consider all these costs when selecting an automated direct mail platform.

6. Direct mail is powered by data

Today’s sophisticated omnichannel campaigns require more than grit and gut. Because so much buying activity happens in the dark funnel, or third-party channels that are hard to track and attribute, data become vital.

A direct mail campaign doesn’t just send customers through a sales funnel. It also tells you how they got there and what they do when they arrive. You should be able to track every mailpiece you send and how the end recipient interacts with and takes action on it.

7. Trigger direct mail for targeted, effective D2C marketing campaigns

With user-friendly templates, automated and triggered sending, and comprehensive metrics, you can try bold new strategies, increase revenue, and build a direct mail marketing program that creates value and ROI. 

Lob has shown that when marketers transform their legacy direct mail workflows, they see:

  • 68% measurable return on campaign investment with hyper-personalization, continuous optimization, and multiple form factors
  • 85% cost savings by increasing operational efficiency
  • Reduction in time to get campaigns out the door and into mailboxes to days, not months.

Get our Tactical Guide to Running a Direct Mail Campaign and contact us to get started.

This blog provides general information and discussion about direct mail marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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