New trial proves that direct mail isn’t dead in today’s digital marketing world

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/Caliphoto)

It may seem old school to some but the days of direct mail – marketing by post – could still have its place in the omni-channel world and is increasingly being seen as the key tool for grabbing customer attention.

It does of course make sense that in today’s virtual world of digital marketing dominance and messaging overload that physical mail can have better cut-through, but it’s coupled with the fact that direct mail is also getting more intelligent than ever.

Last month the Daily Mail reported on a joint pilot between a major, unnamed retailer and the Royal Mail to send direct mail based on web browsing. An example would be sending personalised marketing letters simply from the information derived from a customer clicking on a product and adding it to the shopping basket but then abandoning the sale. Such messages, which could include a discount or delivery offer for example, would be delivered in a couple of days.

Patrick Tame, CEO of digital marketing recruitment firm Beringer Tame, says such a pilot proves the fact that direct mail isn’t dead and instead that developments in analytics and personalisation have made direct mail relevant again.

“The resurgence of direct mail isn’t trying to be ironic-cool, nor is it an attention-seeking marketing trick to tap into people’s nostalgia – it works,” he said. “The resurgence of direct mail isn’t trying to be ironic-cool, nor is it an attention-seeking marketing trick to tap into people’s nostalgia – it works."

“Direct mail isn’t as analogue as everyone seems to think; it has very close ties to digital. Direct marketing is in many ways the grandfather of many digital marketing and Ecommerce strategies and tactics. Think of a catalogue: like a website, it is selling you something that you cannot immediately touch and which will be delivered to you sometime in the future. Huge mailing lists required huge databases; databases allow customer segmentation. Many of the most experienced Customer Relationship Management specialists in the industry today cut their teeth in the world of direct marketing,” he said.

Do you agree that "direct mail" isn't yet dead? Let us know in the comments.


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19 Aug 2015, 7:57 p.m.

Direct Mail is not dead . . . but is is being redefined by Digital. When you have the ability to Target a Direct Mail drop with a Data Driven Targted Digital Display ads (cookie and IP addressable) to laptops and mobile devices (tablets and smartphones). . . you can Grab Market Share, lower your CPA and increase your ROI. "Target the Customer instead of Targeting the Context!" iBOXdigital can show you how.


Rene Jaspar
2 Jan 2016, 3:08 a.m.

Direct Mail Marketing works great in many scenarios. The primary difficulty is to obtain the eyes or the ears of your perspective clients. Owners and managers think of Blast Mail Campaigns, Unaddressed ad campaigns, and
other mailing to an audience that has no interest in your offer.
Selective data base mining to a target audience will deliver great results.
Try it again for the first time?