In an increasingly digital age, less and less mail is getting sent the old- fashioned way. The days of pen pals have given way to emails and text messages. People are increasingly sending electronic greeting cards instead of physical cards. Bills for various services have been frequently switched online, as most companies offer the option to “go paperless.” Less and less material is getting sent directly through the mail in physical form. This reduction has left many wondering if direct mail services still have a place in the modern age.
The sheer saturation of digital advertisement has many people taking action against digital marketing. These days, people are very likely to skip through ads, close ad pop-ups, and even install ad-blockers and utilize other tools to avoid ads as much as possible. The days of people willingly sitting through commercials have not carried over to digital media.
Direct Mail Marketing
The lack of faith in digital advertising has not carried over to physical advertising. The reasons for this are difficult to pin down, but nostalgia may play a large part. Many people can remember their parents or themselves looking through catalogs for items to purchase. Whether those items were for a holiday gift or a matter of need, a catalog’s physical appeal has not diminished over the years. This appeal is also true for store sales ads. Many people have likely flipped through a grocery store’s weekly ads or a sales ad from a department store. These sorts of marketing flyers are beneficial for people to manage their shopping budgets. Many people still seek to use a weekly physical ad, even if they check the online version.
There’s also the scientific aspect. For various reasons, physical media is easier for people to read, skim, or scan than digital media. This readability means the ads are viewed faster and more readily than online content. Direct mailing is better targeted than online ads. Online ads are generic, national, and based on algorithms of different utilities. Direct mail targeting is generally done based on local business zip code, so while the content may not be as specific to the individual, it will have a local touch online marketing rarely achieves. This aspect is one of several reasons direct mail is still useful in the digital age.