Mailbox Marketing: Direct Mail Is A $40b/Year ‘Performance Marketing Channel,’ Says Post Office

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In a world where weather could hypothetically delay the marketing and advertising efforts of online, television, email, and other electrical-based strategies, it’s nice to know that neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night has kept the postal service (and its traditional channel of direct mail) from being neglected from marketing plans.

In fact, a new study by Winterberry Group and the U.S. Postal Service says U.S. brands will spend $39.36 billion on direct mail efforts this year, making the case that direct mail is a “performance marketing channel” part of any omnichannel philosophy.

“While marketing practitioners have long been migrating spend to performance-oriented digital media channels, a growing number are coming to see direct mail as a powerful tool for delivering curated, personalized messages and content on the basis of data triggers — helping support customer acquisition, incremental sales and other key marketing objectives,” says Winterberry Group’s managing partner, Jonathan Margulies.

(Source: Winterberry Group)

The survey asked more than 500 marketing professionals how the role of direct mail is changing within their organization, 39% of whom said they’re “taking steps to better integrate direct mail with other marketing channels, and are seeing benefits from doing so.” Some of the benefits of direct mail, according to the study, include driving customer acquisition, engaging audiences of “significant scale,” and retargeting to support e-commerce channels and their transactions. 

“Nearly 60 percent of surveyed marketers said they’re taking steps to better align their DM efforts with other channel initiatives,” the study says. “And the same panel said ‘improved ability to activate omnichannel campaigns’ is the single most impactful factor driving their overall investment in the channel.”

“If ‘omnichannel’ is truly the way of the marketing future, then direct mail’s future, as with that of other channels, will hinge upon its ability to support marketers’ performance objectives.”


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