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Direct Mail: Making A Comeback

By Keith Klamer

While the subject of integrated direct marketing has been debated to death, one fact has become clear: it's here to stay.

Having said that, good-old direct mail remains an important part of any successful integrated marketing campaign. Indeed, for many years, direct mail was the only way to consistently reach prospects literally where they lived and was utilized intensively because it was so cost-effective.

Perhaps it was used too extensively because over the decades consumers became increasingly turned off by all of the "junk mail." (Except when they found a coupon to their favorite restaurant, of course!) For that reason, some direct mail clients became disenchanted with the medium, even though it still retained a great degree of effectiveness.

However, in a "return to the future" development, physical direct mail is making a comeback in the minds of both marketers and clients. You see, in today's digital age, prospects are bombarded with email, web banners, mobile ads, texts, TV and radio spots all day long. Studies have found that people have moved past their prior disdain to direct mail and are responding again to receiving a piece of physical mail.

In fact, research has found that 85% of consumers sort through and read selected pieces of mail every day. 75% of consumers are saying that they are examining their mail more closely in recent months to search for coupons and discounts. 40% of consumers say that they have tried a new business after receiving direct mail, and 70% have renewed relationships with businesses that they had previously ceased using."

While people may be receiving less physical direct mail, they're receiving better direct mail -- offers that have relevance and value for them personally. That's because marketers are being smart about what they send and to whom they send it. And that's why direct mail has returned to prominence in the integrated marketing matrix.

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