Direct mail back in consumers’ good books

February 26, 2016

Direct mail has taken a bit of a beating in the last couple of years, but it appears to have come out the other side still breathing. A new survey has revealed that almost half of consumers see direct mail as a good way for businesses to connect with them.

The annual survey from data solutions experts Wilmington Millennium suggests that after a period that saw consumers shun direct mail, they are coming back round to this personal and familiar means of communication.

The research, which saw 2,000 Brits questioned, found how 48% of consumers acknowledge direct mail as an effective medium for firms to contact them – a rise of 7% from the year previous.

In fact, 44% stated that direct mail and door drops were their favourite form of direct marketing – compared to just 2.7% who said website pop-up advertisements were their preferred form of communication.

Perhaps it wasn’t such a bad thing that organisations have had to take a long, hard look at their direct mail campaigns? It seems to have brought about more responsible direct mail efforts in the last 12 months or so.

The final straw for many was likely the death of poppy seller Olive Cooke, Wilmington Millennium suggests.

Cooke received thousands of letters and phone calls from charities – something that is thought to have contributed to her taking her own life. This led to a government-commissioned review, which concluded that people must be able to easily opt out of charity communications if they wish to do so.  

The move seems to have ignited a renaissance for direct mail, but that’s not to say that companies can simply send out material en masse and expect immediate results. Direct mail may be a tried-and-tested marketing channel but its future success lies in its ability to integrate with new technologies; augmented reality being one such example.

If direct mail is having a renaissance, let’s use this opportunity to take it to the next level. Only those who are prepared to go the extra mile by merging new technology with this traditional marketing technique will truly flourish.

Kevin Mason - Director