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The power of direct mail: Most consumers read mail from brands—and many take action

by | Aug 9, 2022 | Public Relations

New research from direct mail automation platform Lob uncovers consumers’ perception and attitudes towards direct mail and how brands communicate and engage their customers, revealing a strong preference for receiving physical mail.

The firm’s new State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights report, in partnership with Comperemedia, found that over 85 percent of consumers regularly read direct mail received from brands either immediately, on the same day, or at a later time—with 62 percent reporting a direct mailpiece has inspired action.

The power of direct mail: Most consumers read mail from brands—and many take action

Building on the direct mail channel’s prominence in the marketing strategy mix, the survey found direct mail is critical to the acquisition and retention of customers, with almost half of consumers being introduced to new brands via direct mail. Sixty-six percent of consumers reported they are likely engaging with and act on direct mail from brands they already have a relationship with, proving direct mail is integral throughout the entire customer journey. Direct mail’s influence over the omnichannel is ever-present in the findings, with 51% of all consumers sharing direct mail with their friends and family.

The power of direct mail: Most consumers read mail from brands—and many take action

Additional findings include:

  • Consumers are motivated by direct mail, with offers and promotions driving the most engagement across generational gaps, inspiring actions from:
    • 52 percent of 18-34 years old
    • 58 percent of 35-54 years old
    • 66 percent of consumers over 55 years old or older
  • For brands consumers are unfamiliar with, direct mail is the preferred channel of communication, with 44 percent of respondents stating preference for the physical channel over an email
  • Consumers see value in physical mail, with 70 percent opting to receive some paper statements from brands
  • Nearly half of consumers aged between 18-34 agree that direct mail is an important way for brands to build relationships

The power of direct mail: Most consumers read mail from brands—and many take action

“Direct mail—a tried-and-true marketing channel—is experiencing a renaissance,” said Ritu Kapoor, CMO of Lob, in a news release. “Our technology has been able to evolve snail mail into intelligent mail at scale, enabling leading brands to personalize, analyze, and deliver an unmatched omnichannel experience to their audiences. Our customers continue to find direct mail a leading channel in customer engagement, retention, and acquisition.”

The power of direct mail: Most consumers read mail from brands—and many take action

The findings prove intelligent direct mail that is connected, personalized, and measurable resonates with consumers. Today’s consumer has a positive reaction to their direct mail, so brands that bolster their omnichannel strategy and combine digital and physical channels, like images of recently purchased items and local events or locations, will drive more sales and more ROI. Intelligent direct mail that is customized, based on consumer behaviors and preferences, and contains relevant offers and promotions motivates consumers to read and take action, most often by visiting a brand’s website or physical store location.

The power of direct mail: Most consumers read mail from brands—and many take action

Download the full report here.

This survey was nationally representative of U.S. consumers across gender, age, income, ethnicity and region. Among other questions, respondents were asked a series of questions around their preferences and satisfaction related to direct mail within four key sectors: Retail, Healthcare, Financial Services and Local Business.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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