Is direct mail dead? Is it on its way out? What's the future? Many marketers are being asked these questions from their clients on a regular basis. Whatever the response, direct mail still accounts for over 50% of the US marketing spend, and on average, still pulls the best response rates out of any other marketing medium.
Technological advancements and the growth of digital marketing have provided an opportunity for direct mail and marketers to adapt competitively. With the use of short URLs, consumers can now easily remember or type in a URL to provide additional supportive online content. In the same way, QR codes provide a relatively simple gateway to additional online content. And with the release of NFC enabled handheld devices, consumers can wave their devices over direct mail pieces, incorporating NFC technology, giving them access additional content on their mobile devices.
Smart marketers are evolving with these direct mail changes, and marketers are getting more insight into their consumers’ behaviors and trends. The same principles that apply to direct mail marketing are being applied to digital marketing: clear call-to-action, great offer and an exceptional list. By leveraging the already effective direct mail piece as a gateway to enhanced digital content, marketers are able to provide consumers with a more cohesive brand experience while capturing previously unknown analytics and metrics.
Whether you believe there is a future for direct mail or it's a dying medium, direct mail will exist throughout the foreseeable future. The gap between direct mail and the digital world is continually shrinking as technology advances. Soon, we may see marketers bringing digital content into home via direct mail, digital calls-to-action, instant conversion and real-time tracking and analytics.