The benefits of direct mail marketing

September 2022

What is direct mail (and direct marketing)?

Direct mail is a marketing medium that involves sending a physical letter, postcard, leaflet, product sample, brochure or catalogue to your current customers, ideal target audience (key prospects) or in some cases to carry out research. Direct mail campaigns are implemented by organisations, or agencies on their behalf, targeting consumers or other businesses, usually to key demographic, firmographic and/or psychographic segments. To enhance their campaign targeting, companies such as online retailers analyse their current customer base with RFV (recency, frequency, value) analysis to identify customer deciles. A direct mail specialist can then conduct focus groups on these deciles to create customer personas to find more, similar customers that fit the same profiles.

What are the different types of direct mail in marketing?

Posthub is part of the Whistl Group, offering a wide range of direct marketing services including partially-addressed mail, product sampling, localised leaflet distribution and national door drop distribution. These various types of direct mail aim to help solve different key business challenges and stimulate response at different stages of the customer journey:

  • Partially-addressed mail: If you’re looking for a GDPR-compliant method to reach new customers ‘PAM’ offers the perfect solution. Instead of addressing an item to a named individual, potential customers are targeted using their postcode data rather than their personal data, providing a GDPR-compliant way of reaching a receptive audience.
  • Door-to-door product sampling: A sachet, miniature or full-size sample of your product can be inserted into eagerly-awaited home delivery, from another company that complements your own; welcomed by someone who’s likely to be in an excited and positive mood. They’re ready to be delighted by a surprise bonus: your product. Other forms of product sampling include attaching it to a leaflet, and 2-stage sampling, in which the prospects are sent a flyer to gauge their interest, after which samples are sent to them in the second stage.
  • Localised leaflet distributionServices such as Leafletdrop can help you target households based on their location, affluence, lifestyle, house type and interests. A self-service platform, it is GDPR-compliant because it doesn't require user data and can be scaled nationally. This type of service also includes optional high-quality leaflet printing and delivery by Royal Mail alongside people's other postal items. Some providers also include leaflet design services via graphic design partners.
  • National door drop distribution: Requires dedicated account management, benefits include the ability to overlay your customer data and the ability to target locations surrounding areas such as supermarkets Doordrop can be applied nationally, regionally or locally and adds value to integrated campaigns.
  • Direct mail delivery management and postal solutions: For businesses wanting to target their own opted-in data, Posthub can help with data cleansing, mail data preparation and delivery.

How does direct marketing mail performance compare to other marketing channels?

Over half of consumers are actively taking steps to avoid brands which bombard them with poorly targeted communications, and as a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cut through the noise. Online shoppers find they are receiving too many emails, that communications lack relevance and channels such as push notifications are causing them to disengage and delete apps.

Thankfully, direct mail marketing can help brands rebuild engagement and when utilised effectively, deliver relevant communications to the right audience, at the right stage of the buying journey.

Direct mail is most impactful when working in harmony with digital channels, to create the ‘media multiplier effect. Rather than looking at printed matter mailing as an alternative to digital marketing, they go hand-in-hand.

A study by Romax found:

  • 87% of consumers had been influenced to make an online purchase as a direct result of receiving direct mail
  • 78% of people consider direct mail valuable or interesting
  • 56% of consumers say mail grabs their attention
  • Consumers perceive mail as the most authoritative medium
  • 43% of consumers have downloaded something from a website as a direct result of receiving direct mail

In summary, direct marketing offers great response rates, can be personalised at scale, builds trust and is tangible. It is also cost-effective and easy to track responses.

Posthub offers consultative and practical support for all elements of your postal campaigns. 

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