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Direct Mail Marketing: What Marketers Can Learn from Each Other and Consumers
Direct Mail
October 17, 2023

Direct Mail Marketing: What Marketers Can Learn from Each Other and Consumers

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Stephanie Donelson

We recently created an infographic, The Power of Direct Mail, that compared and contrasted the data points from our 2023 State of Direct Mail report and the 2023 State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights report.

When looking at the numbers side by side, we can see some key themes and trends emerging from the data. Let’s take a closer look at some a-ha moments for marketers and understand what we can learn when looking at both sides of the coin (or postcard in this case).

GIF showing how consumers respond to the channel of direct mail

Key learning: Focus on introducing your brand and strengthening relationships with direct mail

We often get asked where we should add direct mail into the marketing funnel. It often depends on your organization’s goals and budget, but we have some data that shows many marketers are focusing their use of direct mail on acquisition and retention campaigns.

Our State of Direct Mail reports showed that:

  • Direct mail is the preferred channel of communication for brands consumers don’t know, with 43% of respondents selecting this channel
  • On average, 28% of direct mail volume is typically spent towards new customer acquisition campaigns, according to marketers
  • 48% of consumers agree direct mail is an important way for brands to build relationships with them
  • 30% of direct mail volume is typically used for retention campaigns by marketers

So, marketers are using the channel well for retention but may be able to increase their use of the channel to acquire new customers. Consumers would be receptive to getting mail from brands they aren’t familiar with.

GIF showing how consumers respond to direct mail

Key learning: Test CTAs and tracking methods

Calls to action (CTAs) are one of the most important elements of a marketing message. And with budgets tightening across marketing departments, we have to prove the value of each channel and how it drove action. So, our CTAs are pulling double duties here. They have to drive action from our target audience, but we also need to be able to track them at the granular level to prove they worked.

Our 2023 data shows that:

  • 64% of consumers say direct mail has inspired them to take action
  • 74% of marketers agree direct mail has the highest response, conversion, and ROI of any marketing channel they use

The data is literally telling us direct mail drives action and is attributable! But, as we said earlier, as marketers, we need to make sure our CTAs meet both of those needs. So, how can you make it easy for consumers to act and then for your team to measure results?

  • Use 1:1 QR codes
  • Use QR codes or shortened URLs with UTMs
  • Use trackable phone numbers
  • Use unique promo codes

Key learning: Remind direct mail recipients about sustainability efforts

54% of consumers agree they are more likely to purchase from a brand that prioritizes sustainability. And let’s not beat around the bush: direct mail is a paper-based industry. But today’s direct mail can be sustainable.

Whether you work with a printer that uses recycled materials, or you can put the FSC logo on your mail, or you even work with Lob to send 100% carbon neutral mail, there are ways to incorporate sustainability into your direct mail marketing efforts.

One other thing we can all do is put copy on the mailer that prompts recipients to recycle the campaign when they’re done with the mailer.

Customer acquisition direct mail campaign from Daily Harvest
A postcard from Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest does a great job of this on its customer acquisition campaign by displaying the FSC logo and copy that says, “Keep a good thing going. Recycle me, please.”

Optimize your direct mail marketing campaigns

Continue your education and learn best practices in creating direct mail campaigns that are optimized for driving the best results possible, such as streamlining workflows and processes, testing and experimenting with your direct mail campaigns, and employing a scientific method to improve performance.

Get your copy of the eBook: Optimizing Direct Mail for Maximum Results

Ebook cover for Optimizing Direct Mail for Maximum Results

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