Direct Mailings in the digital age – Guess who loves them most
“Letters, postcards and such are superfluous in the age of digital marketing.” For many companies this myth is particularly persistent. However, the opposite is the case – according to current US studies, mailings are not only brand new, their conversion rates are even significantly superior to all other marketing channels. We humans enjoy physical messages that we can hold in our hands. They give us a feeling of appreciation. Even for the digital natives of the millennium generation, studies show that daily visits to the mailbox are associated with positive emotions. The success of postal marketing is repeatedly emphasized, especially in major US publications, such as a recent Forbes article. One more reason for marketers to pay more attention to this channel in Germany and Europe again.
The postal channel enables top conversion rates
Addressed advertising mail converts significantly better than the digital channels. According to the report of the US Direct Marketing Association (DMA), mailings achieved a conversion rate of 4.4% in 2012. Emails reached 0.12% in the same year. The development in recent years shows an upward trend. The average conversion rate for mailings in 2016 was even 5.3%, which is almost nine times better than the conversion rate for emails (0.6%). In its report, the DMA states that letters, postcards and the like, if systematically operated, can even convert up to 30 times better than all digital channels combined. Last but not least, overcrowded email inboxes and an increasing flood of advertising on online channels are leading to this development. Personalized mailings, on the other hand, convey a feeling of exclusivity and stand out positively in an empty mailbox.
Mailings establish an authentic relationship
Even the most obvious commercial in the mailbox has something that emails will never have: the reality factor. We have all sent and received, opened, picked up or thrown away letters in our lives. Mailings have weight, substance and dimension. They are a constant size. It is therefore not surprising that an English study concludes that the success of mailings is related to their physical nature: “Giving, receiving and holding things in your hands remain intuitive aspects of the human experience.” The authors attribute this to the emotional effect of a haptic broadcast. This is because 60% of the interviewees say that they can still remember the messages of a physical broadcast well at much later times. 57% state that a postcard conveys a much stronger feeling of value and thus creates an authentic relationship with the advertiser.
Physical advertising messages remain in the subconscious
An American neuromarketing study investigated how consumers react on a subconscious physiological level to digital and physical advertising mail. In order to achieve this goal, the test subjects’ eye movements on the one hand and changes in breathing and pulse on the other hand were measured. In addition, it was investigated how brain activity differs when certain advertising content is recapitulated. The results show that digital advertising is better suited to capture the short-term attention of consumers. Physical advertising, on the other hand, generates a much stronger sense of appreciation, which in turn results in a higher willingness to buy the advertised items. Even though the subconscious effect of physical advertising is more lasting, it is important for a successful marketing mix to use the effects of both forms in a well coordinated way. Successful marketers combine both media for maximum sustainable success.
Even millennials are happy about advertising mail in the mailbox
The Millennials are the digital natives of today. Therefore, many decision makers still believe that the generation of smartphones and tablets does not waste a thought on the old-fashioned medium of letters. But even this is a misconception, as a recent US study has now revealed. It is a fact that 95% of 18 to 29 year olds are even very positive about letters and postcards. For example, 36% of respondents under the age of 30 confirm that they are really looking forward to looking in their mailbox every day. The situation is different with advertising on online channels. For example, it is predicted that more than one in four users will use an adblocker when surfing the web in 2018. With a total purchasing power of around EUR 1.2 billion by 2020, it is therefore definitely worthwhile for marketers to address younger generations with personalised mailings. After all, what counts is not where the contact with the customer takes place, but that the customer is positively received and has an effect on the advertiser.