Direct Mail: Is it dead?

Direct Mail: Is it dead?

It’s no secret we love digital marketing. We do loads of it. From social media, search engine marketing, to email marketing and everything in between. It’s transparent, cost effective and targeted. But what about the grandfather of digital: direct mail? Has it been put out to pasture or is there still a place in the marketing mix for it?


The facts on direct mail


The biggest users of direct mail like letterbox drops are large retailers. Who doesn’t love a browse through the annual IKEA catalogue?


According to the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) who recently; reviewed consumer attitudes towards direct marketing, direct mail still represents an estimated $500m of marketing spend per year by Australian businesses.


Considering the typical response rate to a local small business leaflet drop (less than 0.5- 1% conversion), there are variables that affect response rates to a campaign such as; timing, creativity, the offer and targeting.


A time and a place: when direct mail can still be relevant


  • Highly-targeted mailings to high value customers and prospects (customer loyalty / reward pieces are a great example)
  • Low-cost, highly targeted mailers (we love the humble but mighty postcard)
  • Where you need to convey a lot of product information (a classic b2b situation)
  • Where you’re supporting a sales process which is long and involves many decision-makers
  • Where you want to have fun and engage your customers with interesting materials and unusual formats


Direct mail has appeal for marketers because of the scope for personalisation, creativity, range of formats, customer involvement and targetability. However it’s not cheap and it takes time to develop and produce.


Many have a go at direct mail, make a few basic errors and are left with underwhelming results.


To ensure future direct mail campaigns have a good chance for success, carefully consider: is this the right time and place for your campaign and;

  • Is your creative, genius?
  • Do you have a great offer?
  • Do you have a sufficient sample size and the right targeting?

See you next week



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