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Direct Mail
February 6, 2024

How To Apply the State of Direct Mail Findings to Your Marketing Strategy

by 
Guest Author

Did you know that 84% of marketers confirm that direct mail delivers higher ROI than other marketing channels? Direct mail marketing creates powerful customer connections, but it isn't a siloed channel.

Most marketers realize that direct mail is just one aspect of their overall strategy and works best when carefully integrated with digital campaigns. Mail-based marketing also requires effective data collection and management, as confirmed in the Lob 2024 State of Direct Mail report.

Let's explore some more of the key statistics from the report and how to use them to create a genuinely effective omnichannel marketing approach.

Data collation and analysis

48% of marketers use data regarding communication channel preference.

Data on communication channel preference can help marketers understand who responds to direct mail, who doesn't, and possible reasons why, as well as better understand what digital channels require more budget, testing, or iteration.

Making campaign adjustments based on accurate data increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, as customers appreciate being listened to and communicating in their preferred methods. Taking your customers' and prospects' preferences into account and using that data wisely means better and fine-tuned marketing strategies for each channel or tactic, less wastage of marketing dollars, and better results as consumers are primed to take action.

The top three uses of data are:

  • To personalize mail pieces
  • To optimize campaigns
  • And to trigger sends based on behaviors or actions

Data collation and integration also translate into numerous digital marketing efforts. Email marketing can leverage similar data sets and workflow triggers to better personalize email outreach. Marketing teams can update workflows to send the right message at the right time and on the right channel based on actions or preferences. For example, direct mail could get a customer in the door, a well-timed email gets them to convert, and a follow-up SMS message 60 days later turns them into a repeat customer.

Personalization, optimization, and trigger-based messaging apply to more marketing channels than just direct mail. The key point is to let your customers and prospects have a say in how they're communicated with, how often, and on what channels.

Related reading: 4 Considerations for Direct Mail in 2024

Choosing effective campaign types

Customer retention and acquisition campaigns account for 50% of direct mail campaign sends.

A limited focus on keeping and getting customers leaves huge opportunities for winback, referral, and other types of direct mail campaigns.

Winback is a strategy common in email marketing but also highly effective in direct mail. Customers often appreciate the personal touch of a postal arrival.

If churned or inactive customers aren't responding to emails, going offline could be the ideal way to reach them. They may have switched email accounts and not notified the businesses they engage with.

Gabriel Tornberg, Senior Operations Manager at Branch, told us, "We can't get through via text, and customers don't check email. Having direct mail as part of our multichannel campaigns is key. We could retain 25% more customers because of it."

This both proves direct mail is a winner for customer retention (as the data from the 2024 State of Direct Mail shows) and that it gets consumers' attention. You pair that with the fact that 80% of consumers share direct mail with their family and friends, and you've got a great channel for your referral marketing campaigns.

Winback is especially powerful for B2C or D2C brands. Marley Spoon used direct mail as a channel in its reactivation campaign and saw a 263% higher conversion rate with direct mail than email.

If a person has stopped buying, they might be more likely to stop opening emails. So why not test showing up in a different mailbox?

Marketing mix and how budgets are allocated

Email, text, and print media garner the largest portion of remaining marketing budgets.

This might surprise some business leaders who still assume that digital is the core of their strategy. It's a clear indicator that offline channels are valuable and necessary for reaching the most diverse audience.

All omnichannel marketing approaches must consider their "marketing mix": What channels are you using and how often? What's your spend for each of these channels?

The key to optimizing your marketing mix is thinking through the customer journey. Consider how direct mail amplifies your marketing messages or reduces the burden and cost of overused digital channels. For example, you might transform a seven-email nurture series into a set of five emails and two direct mail pieces.

Measuring conversions

56% of marketers use personalized URLs (PURLs) to measure conversion.

Understanding the impact of direct mail is vital. Many firms use individual URLs that customers enter into their web browsers, instantly delivering offers or information tailored specifically for them.

Personalized links are starting to replace QR codes, which are visual representations of web addresses. Marketers prefer PURLs, as they can use the data to gain insight into conversion rates, A/B test campaigns, optimize SMS marketing messages, and much more. Understanding direct mail ROI starts with effective conversion data collation.

What does this mean for other channels? Use PURLs! Use PURLs in your Out-of-Home advertising campaigns or printed ads, use PURLs in your social media campaigns, use PURLs in your email campaigns. Just make sure it's a shortened option or easy to remember if people can't or don't have time to click the link in a digital format.

Attribution methodologies

64% of marketers use multi-touch, 22% use first-touch, and 14% use last-touch attribution.

Attribution means deciding which channel contributed most heavily to a conversion. The report shows that multi-touch attribution has outpaced other methods, tracking customer journeys through each channel they use.

Only 22% use first-touch attribution, which essentially credits the first point of contact with a business with the entire sale. In contrast, 14% use last-touch attribution, indicating that the final point of contact is the most vital.

This statistic highlights how marketers are realizing the bigger picture of how each channel, both digital and offline, works together to drive conversions and optimize the effectiveness of each other. Consider how you assess which channels are attributed with leads and conversions, and ensure you include all customer touchpoints.

Leverage direct mail data to boost overall marketing results in 2024

Direct mail works best in tandem with technology that collates customer data and helps you personalize and optimize campaigns. You can boost your ROI by leveraging multiple marketing channels and understanding the impact of each.

Discover more useful direct mail statistics and insights. Download the free Lob 2024 State of Direct Mail Marketing report today.

The 2024 State of Direct Mail report