Work Smarter Blog

The Case for Direct Mail Marketing in 2023

Direct Mail
October 18, 20228 min read

“To write is human, to receive a letter: Divine!”
Susan Lendroth

Why It's Time to Add Direct Mail to Your Markering Strategy

You know I LOVE technology. I love how fast email, direct messages, text messages, and video chats are. But there is something to be said about receiving a letter or postcard in the mailbox.

Remember about 15 years ago or more when you would get a HUGE amount of mail around Christmas time? The catalogs, advertisements, holiday cards...the list goes on. I remember picking up a bundle for one day and it felt like it weighted several pounds. There was a reason this Seinfeld skit was so funny.

I don't know about you, but we rarely receive catalogs. We still recieve holiday cards, but that is about the only time of year we receive mail beyond mail from the county. Our bills and bank statments are even electronic!

Everyone is mailing less because it did get out of control and the mail was meaningless. There was simply too much to go through. But today, you have an opportunity to make an impact by sending a postcard because people don't get that much mail.

They may still look through their mail over their trash, can like we do, but they at least LOOK at the mail before throwing it out. They may even put your postcard aside to really look at it after they go through the rest of their mail.

42.2% of direct mail recipients either read or scan the mail they get.

Data & Marketing Association

That is way more than you can say about email. Right!! How much of your email is filtered into junk or a folder you never review before it even hits your inbox? On average people open 20% of marketing emails.

To make the case for why it's time to add direct mail to your marketing strategy, I will share more about direct mail markering, three reasons direct mail isn't dead, and some astonishing statistics about direct mail. In the end, you will want to start sending direct mail TODAY. Don't worry, we we've got a great postcard service for you.

What is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail is sending a letter, postcard, maganize, notecard, etc. in the mail. Direct mail marketing is advertising your offer directly to a target group of people that match your customer demographics and you've included a call-to-action that enables the person to directly respond to you. By contrast, advertising is of a mass-message nature. (Wikipedia)

Direct Mail Marketing allows you to target your advertising to people that are most interested in receiving it. With Direct Mail, there are no legal requirements for people first opting in to receive your mailings. People prefer to receive postcards because there isn't any extra paper like the envelop to discard.

You can also use direct mail to send mail to your customers, prospects, and partners that is about building a relationship rather than advertising. It is a way to stay top of mind in a totally unique way.

One myth about direct mail is that it is expensive and that is simply far from the truth. I sent my clients a post card recently that cost $60. It was actually to let them know I am now offering direct mail postcard services. :)

4 Reasons Direct Mail isn't Dead in 2023

1. Digital Overload is Real

Did you know adults on average spend over 11 hours a day using their phones, laptops, tablets, televisions, and gaming devices? That is almost half our day is spend online, says a recent survey

You know I am all for digital communications, but it needs to be balanced with real connections. One of the ways you can connect outside of zoom is through a postcard delivered to thier mailbox.

2. Less Competition with Direct Mail

Direct mail has decreased by about 40% since its hey day in 2007. That means that we are receiving less mail in our mailbox. It also means far fewer businesses are sending mail, so your message will standout. Google spends the most on direct mail because it works.

Now that everyone knows how to use QR Codes, it if far easier to collect metrics on who engaged with your postcard when you add a QR Code.

3. You Can Touch It

Sending a postcard is tangible. Your customer or prospect can touch it, take it with them to read, or display it on their desk. A postcard will actual hold their attention longer than a digital ad or email.

Millennials love receiving mail! This fits with their affinity for physical media — like vinyl records. The study also revealed that 57% of Millennial respondents acted on direct mail offers.

4. Low Cost - Impact High

Maybe sending a postcard isn't as low as is was in the 1970's, but it is low when considering the impact. Other forms of advertising will cost the same and have much lower success rates. You've boosted a post in social media and probably paid for an advertising campaign, I bet you don't have much to show for it.

Astonishing Direct Mail Markering Statistics

You will be very surprised by these statistics. Then you will recognize that you probably do the same things.

  • 50.9% of recipients say they find postcards useful because they can see the message immediately making postcards the most effective direct mail method available. (Data & Marketing Association)

  • 73% of American consumers say they prefer being contacted by brands via direct mail because they can read it whenever they want. (Epsilon)

  • 60% of catalog recipients visit the website of the company that mailed them the catalog.(United States Postal Service)

  • A study shows a 49% increase in sales and 125% in inquiries from customers who received both emails and catalogs. (Harvard Business Review)

  • Consumers aged 45-54 are the demographic group most likely to respond to direct mail pieces. (Data & Marketing Association)

  • Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 16-20% of emails. (Data & Marketing Association)

  • When asked, “Which is more effective at getting you to take action?” 30% of millennials said direct mail, while 24% said email. (DMN)

  • 46% of people are more likely to respond to an advertisement from a familiar company. (Tax Marketing HQ)

  • Postcards receive the highest response rate of 4.25%, and letters get the lowest response at 3.5%. While emails receives only. (Data and Marketing Association)

  • Direct mail drove 92% of customers to learn more about a business online and propelled 87% to make online purchases. (Forbes)

Direct Mail Markering Best Pratices

To make the most of your direct mail marketing investment, there are three simple steps to follow.

Step 1: Personalize It

Just like with any other markering effort, you want to personalize the message as much as possible. That means addressing them in the message by their first name.

Step 2: Segment and Target

Segmenting and Targeting is taking personalization to the next level. Segmenting is sending postcards to people you know like your clients or prospects. You know something about them, so you could send a postcard celebrating their birthday, achievement, or success they experience. Target is sending postcards to a new group of people that fit your ideal client demographics. It is personalized because they should be interested in your advertisement, they just don't know you yet.

Step 3: Track It

You can track metrics related to postcards. You can track if the postcards have been mailed and delivered. When you add a QR Code, which is a good idea, you can track who scaned your QR Code and took the prescribed action.

You can use a QR Code for almost anything! Your QR Code could go to a ...

  • Personal video

  • Event registration

  • Lead Magnet Opt In

  • Ebook signup or purchase

  • Schedule a call using your online booking tool

  • The list goes on...

Work Smarter with Direct Mail

You might be reading this and thinking that you've got to personally address all the post and write individualized messages. No you don't need to do that.

You can get postcards printed with a standardized message and mailed for you. All you need to provide in the image on the front and message on the back. Simple.

The issue with many direct mail services is that they want you to print and send larger batches than you might be ready to do. Or they want you to subscribe to a hefty monthly subscription that again is about sending a large number of postcards.

We are now offering a small batch postcard service on a project basis. No monthly commitments. Take a look at our Inbox to Mailbox Service. We will help you design your postcard and do all the work to send and track it for you.

Postcard images

If you are a Work Smarter Digital client, you can also integrate and automate sending personalized postcards in your customer journey.

So, did I make a compelling case for why now is the time to add direct mail into your marketing strategy? Let me know.


Work Smarter Digital is an all-in-one CRM software for solopreneurs and small business owners. It serves as a one-stop-shop for client management and marketing, with functionality for invoicing, booking, social media scheduling, email drip campaigns, automated workflows, and much more. In addition to the software, Work Smarter Digital also offers Done-With-You services to provide users with added support and optimization for their growing businesses.Want to get the full picture? See our comparison chart here.

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Mary Sue Dahill

Mary Sue Dahill is an Automation Expert, Hot Mess Tamer and author of The Boutique Effect. She helps ambitious entrepreneurs eliminate the overload from marketing gimmicks and too much technology that creates work and doesn’t convert. Mary Sue recalls the constant barrage of must-do marketing tactics to grow your list, get more leads, and convert more clients that never seemed to work. They were hugely time intensive and weren’t successful without a significant ad spend. After trying and failing at the complicated marketing tactics, Mary Sue said enough was enough! She stopped the insanity by shifting her approach from quick fixes and dreams of passive income to focusing on building real relationships. She has had much more success with this approach, feels far less salesy, and now teaches her strategies to her clients. With 20 years of technology management background, Mary Sue helps entrepreneurs build relationships in an authentic way without working nights and weekends because she helps them work smarter with technology. Mary Sue offers an all-in-one CRM solution and teaches her boutique methods to her clients to quickly go from scrambling for clients to a pipeline full of higher paying clients. Mary Sue is a proud mom of two college students and totally obsessed with her two mini dachshunds.

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