Is Direct Mail Dead? The Mailbox vs. your Inbox

US_mail_letterboxDespite the recent financial woes of the US Post Office, direct mail is not only alive and well, but growing. Human beings are social creatures and even though we are more connected than ever before, there is something to be said for striving to connect through more than a computer screen or TV; direct mail is a great media for providing that connection.

More than 12 billion catalogs are mailed annually and investment in direct mail for advertising purposes rose by 5.8% from 2010 to 2011, which amounts to $48 billion in sales? If direct mail is dead, how do you account for the increase in mailings? One reason that direct mail is doing so well is trust. A leading target marketing firm found that 25% of consumers think that online information can’t be trusted; that means that 75% of people do not believe everything they read on the Internet. The same study found that 20% of consumers are more trusting of information received in the mail than by email. I would hypothesize that one of the reasons direct mail is seen as more trustworthy than email is that we all know direct mail has a hard cost attached to it—unlike email, which is free to send.

I highly recommend that you use a 3-step sequential follow-up direct mail campaign targeting your ideal tax problem resolution clients. This should be used (in addition to your other marketing strategies) to target taxpayers who are more likely than the rest of the general population to experience IRS Problems. Taxpayers who are self-employed and receive a 1099s at the end of the year are prime targets.


Junk_mail_collectionPeople prefer physical mail at a very deep level, and this can be shown through how people process materials. When a photo is in someone’s hand, the brain generates much more activity than if it was on the screen. The brain pays closer attention to the real-life materials and builds more visual and spatial connects than it does when looking at an email. Something as simple as the texture of the paper will make your direct mail more memorable and unique when compared to an email. As an added bonus, your materials will not end up in some spam filter or simply lost in cyber space. For the average American household, nearly two months will pass between times a personal letter shows up in the mail; if you mail a personal letter, thank you card, or birthday card with an offer attached, you can drastically increase your direct mail response rates.

How about the fact that Google uses direct mail to sell its pay per click and Google Places advertising media? Now, if a company like Google, the world’s largest search engine has to supplement its marketing FOR its own marketing services with direct mail, it is obvious that not only is direct mail not dead, but it may be more alive than ever for those entrepreneurs who are savvy this media!