Direct mail surges in effectiveness

The benefits of direct mail are well known. The tangibility it affords gives organisations the opportunity to literally put their brand in the hands of their customers in a creative and cost-effective way. Recently we’ve seen some great campaigns such as Go Inspire’s Mail-a-Mask initiative which helps retail clients encourage customers back in store by sending them a mask. No other channel would have the ability to facilitate this campaign with the impact that the mail does. However, a new research report from marketing automation specialists, PFL, reveals that there are more strings to direct mail’s bow.

Namely that it is the most valuable part of the marketing mix. Over the past year 600 marketers have monitored their multichannel campaigns and 84 per cent have identified direct mail as the most effective channel. The study found that campaigns which include mail media outperform those that don’t by 18 per cent. Targeted messages delivered through the letterbox complements the messages being delivered by broadcast media and digital marketing. The research also highlighted the importance of data accuracy. With 80 per cent of marketers identifying the underlying data as the top success factor for elevated ROI. What is clear is that relevance is key and ensuring a clean data set such as removing people that have passed away or suppressing duplicate records is not only a requirement under GDPR, but that it has a significant impact on the results of a marketing campaign.

The study also found that the more channels that were used in a multichannel campaign the higher the ROI. Campaigns comprising seven or more media were found to be the most effective, yet only a small percentage (10 per cent) of multichannel campaigns used this number of channels with the majority comprising three channels (29 per cent). Email was found to be the most frequently used channel (included in over 90 per cent of multichannel campaigns), but despite this it was found to be declining in effectiveness (down from last year’s study) and social media, which is the second most used channel in a multichannel campaign was the least effective media at reaching the desired audience.

As organisations continue to ramp up marketing activity following the relaxation of lockdown; with many taking the approach of marketing to accumulate, insights such as these are important to help inform strategy moving forward into the new normal.