When did you last receive something interesting in the post?

Once upon a time, we all used to bemoan the fact that our letterboxes would be full of junk mail, none of it of any interest. Today it just comes in a digital format; our junk folders are full and keeping a handle on what gets through junk is a daily job.

But when was the last time you received a targeted piece of mail at work that wasn’t an invoice?

According to the findings of a report by OFCOM for The Royal Mail, generally, adults in the UK say they value postal services. Personal mail is the most common type of mail sent each month, albeit lower for the youngest adults (16-34s). A majority of adults say that they would feel cut off from society if they couldn’t send or receive post, and six in ten adults say they are very or fairly reliant on letters and cards as a way of communicating.

Despite this, the use of digital substitutes remains high. Email, text messaging and mobile calls remain the most popular substitutes for post, with a majority of adults in the UK (56%) saying that they prefer to send emails rather than letters whenever possible. Nearly half of all adults (47%) say that they only use post if there is no alternative.

So is direct mail dead?

With the above in mind, does anyone want to send direct mail anymore? We think so. We believe that with less competition on the doormat (or office desk) direct mail stands out. It also gives you more room to explain complex propositions; you are not limited to a 300-word blog or a 280-character tweet.

It’s also dimensional and tangible, holding the something in your hand can give it a greater value. Who remembers the email about product x? Receiving a sample of product x with a letter addressed to you is much more likely to be remembered. Throw in a useful free branded gift and you are onto a winner!

Targeted, relevant content is always king; transfer that to a piece of direct mail and you have something tangible too. It’s also a lot easier to talk to someone about the brochure or sample that you have sent rather than one of the 500 or so emails that they have received.

We are not saying that emails are bad, it’s a proven and viable form of marketing; we are just saying there is another way. In a survey of over 2,000 consumers, eBay found that 76% of Brits have bought a book, a DVD or Blu-ray, CD, vinyl record, or video game in the last year, rising to 83% for 18 to 24 year olds or so-called ‘digital natives’. That shows that people inherently like to have ‘stuff’ that they can hold and feel.

And we know that you have just read this in a digital blog post…but made you think though didn’t it?!
To find out how we can help you get creative with your direct mail campaigns, talk to us. We might even post you a free gift too…

Posted by: Harriet Thacker

Date: 9 February 2018

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