We’ve all heard an urban legend or two in our time. Usually they are creepy tales told during sleepovers or over a campfire, like Bloody Mary. Legend has it that if you close the lights, look into a mirror and say “Bloody Mary” three times, you will summon the ghost of an executed witch.

For marketers and business owners, one of the biggest urban legends is: Direct mail is dead. It was killed by the internet.

However, it’s not just alive and well, but in fact, direct mail could be considered superior to other marketing channels based on recent statistics and studies.

Top Channel For Direct Response

Though there has been a reduction in response rate for direct mail over the last ten years, it’s still holding strong. In its response rate report, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) analyzed Bizo and Epsilon data and found that direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate, compared to 0.12% for email.

Overall, the DMA found that direct mail’s response rates are actually anywhere from 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital. It notes that consumers, overwhelmed by inboxes cluttered with unsolicited marketing emails, are more receptive to direct mail, which arrives on a much less-cluttered channel.

But that’s only part of the reason.

Strong Perceived Value

Even the most obvious junk mail in your mailbox has something that few marketing emails will ever possess: the reality factor. We’ve sent it and received it, opened it, saved it and thrown it away for much of our lives. It has weight, substance and dimension. Mail is a constant.

It’s no surprise then that a study conducted by the UK Royal Mail, The Private Life of Mail, concluded that the upswing in the use of direct mail and its enduring effectiveness is because, “Giving, receiving and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience.”

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This emotional effect is what’s at the bottom of its effectiveness: 60% said this effect made a more lasting mental impression on them, making it easier to recall later on. 57% of respondents said that postcard marketing makes them feel more valued and creates a more authentic relationship. Read more

Forbes.com. (2018). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/08/30/why-direct-mail-marketing-is-far-from-dead/#4203070311de [Accessed 30 Aug. 2017].