Every year, Target Marketing conducts its Media Usage Survey. In this survey, the magazine asks how readers are allocating their budgets, which channels are increasing and decreasing, and which channels its readers prefer for a variety of marketing activities.
While digital, social, and mobile media continue their astronomic growth trajectory, this year’s survey finds that direct mail is holding its own, and strongly. In particular, direct mail is growing for customer acquisition and retention.
- In 2015, 54% of Target Marketing respondents were using direct mail for their customer acquisition efforts. In 2016, this rose to 58%.
- In 2015, 51% of Target Marketing respondents were using direct mail for their customer retention efforts. That has risen to 55% today.
Why is direct mail growing for acquisition and retention, even in the face of consumers’ love affair with digital and mobile media?
- Email addresses go out of date very quickly, and mobile phone numbers are not always easy to get. Once you have a physical address, however, you can maintain contact with that customer for a long time. Even if people move and don’t provide a new address, you can get address updates from the U.S. Post Office through the National Change of Address (NCOA) service.
- Even when someone has opted out of phone, email, and mobile contact, you can still reach them by postal mail. Direct mail is powerful and proven effective for re-engaging customers who have dropped off your email list.
- In a world of electronic media, the physical mailbox is a powerful open door. When a well-designed mail piece shows up in a customer’s or prospect’s mailbox, it doesn’t get lost the way emails in the saturated and highly filtered inbox do. It gets noticed right away—and nearly always read.