Direct Mail

Direct mail: A welcome split from the screen

Give your eyes a rest with some good old mail
This story is part of our how-to series about creating direct mail that works. View other stories in the series or subscribe to Pop from Sappi today to receive an email when we post more.

We’re all feeling it—the fatigue that comes from our social, work, and family lives all existing on a screen. But don’t fret, there’s an effective way to re-energize. It has nothing to do with video calls and everything to do with your mailbox.

Time spent at home changes our relationship with screens

And the relationship is rocky. We want to connect with our loved ones by maintaining a physical distance, and the best way for many is through virtual communication. The only problem is that we’re so done with our screens that we’re ready to chuck our computers out of our home office or classroom window.

While we can’t destroy company property, we can connect with the outside world in ways other than our screens. In our proprietary study, we discovered that since the pandemic started, the general population views the mail as a welcome change from looking at a screen all day.

Consumers are more than ready to find a gorgeous printed piece waiting in their mailbox. Plus, the general population is 75% more likely to say they appreciate their postal carrier since the pandemic (“Assessing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on direct mail,” a Sappi sponsored study, 2020). Direct mail is a surefire way to catch a consumer’s attention through a medium they truly admire.

Direct mail is a marketers trusty steed

Consumers are more likely to recall your message if it’s delivered on paper.

have brand recognition after seeing a print ad
“Reach Out and Touch” John Brown Media; Sappi Europe
have brand recognition after seeing a digital ad
“Reach Out and Touch” John Brown Media; Sappi Europe

Receivers of direct mail feel like print information is more real, more tangible, and is easier to refer back to. It does much more for consumers than a scroll-by social media ad can do. A beautiful piece of branded mail has a higher chance of hanging out on the kitchen counter for a few days, catching the gaze of its owner every time they pass by.

It works to take the road less traveled

These days, digital communication is king (pandemic or not). It’s impossible to avoid, can live on many and varied channels, and reaches users instantly. We can’t deny the power of digital communication. But it’s at a point where consumers are being overwhelmed by digital attempts to reach them, so they’re sometimes not reached at all. Direct mail has actually become a disruptive form of communication because there’s no chance of a physical piece of mail getting lost in a virtual inbox.

73% of print ads are noticed, while only 18% of viewable digital display ads are noticed. (“Reach Out and Touch” John Brown Media; Sappi Europe)

Direct Mail + Digital, sittin’ in a tree

Like we said, there’s no denying that digital advertising is extremely effective. So just imagine the possibilities when it pairs up with print! Direct mail is the last base to cover when it comes to reinforcing a brand’s carefully crafted message. And it works:

28% increase in conversion rate when direct mail and digital ads are used together. (“30 direct mail statistics for 2017.”, July 14, 2017)


By putting the brand experience directly in audiences’ hands, direct mail can help solidify the information.