Direct Mail

Direct mail in a digital age

Blending new technology and old-school familiarity can spell future success.
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.

The envelope please…

By 2021, investment in paid search, display, social media, online advertising and email marketing will represent 46 percent of all advertising, according to Forrester’s US Digital Marketing Forecast (January 2017).

As more companies shift their marketing budgets out of print, the advantages of direct mail have not only grown—they’ve been left open for the taking. In fact, direct mail has the highest rate of success in new customer acquisition compared to other marketing channels, according to Target Marketing. This comeback is surprising until you consider the side effects of digital marketing’s growth.

Print’s benefits are still unfolding

Customers are increasingly inundated with marketing messages—the average person receives nearly 3,000 in one day alone. As they get emails, text messages, digital media alerts and more, direct mail has become the less invasive form of communication.

The phrase “Don’t believe everything you read” has morphed into “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet,” and recipients of all ages appreciate that they can control if and when they read a physical piece of mail.

Facebook joins direct mail with digital marketing to entice CEOs: A case study

Even the social media giant Facebook recognizes when paper is best to tell its game-changing digital success stories.

After a marketing conference for CEOs, Facebook sent the list of attendees a printed self-mailer that drove them to a microsite. Facebook was able to track its targets’ interests as well as digitally connect with potential customers, which achieved its campaign strategy goals.

The mailer’s creative graphics and energetic headlines were able to convey the interactive and dynamic nature of Facebook’s digital marketing platforms—all on paper.

Print and screen aren’t mortal enemies. In fact, they’re quickly becoming marketing’s hottest power couple.

Rate of Millennials who would rather scan for useful information in mail than in email.
Source: Vinnedge, Phil. USPS Mail Moments: 2016 Review. USPS, 2016.
Increase in conversion rate when direct mail and digital ads are used together.
Source: “30 Direct Mail Statistics for 2017.”, July 14, 2017.

Two channels are better than one

Strategically merging direct mail’s newfound power and digital marketing’s evolving techniques can make connecting with your customer easier than ever.

Track effectiveness

From recording mailed coupon redemptions to capturing extensive metrics on a print-promoted microsite, joining these platforms’ efforts has become a comprehensive avenue for measuring ROI on a campaign-by-campaign basis.

Drive sales and traffic

Adding Generic or Personalized landing pages (GURLs and PURLs) can lead customers to targeted websites and engage them in the next layer of the marketing campaign. Direct mail can also promote your social media or be an attention-grabbing lead for a related email series.

Build better relationships

Using digital-based Variable Data Printing (VDP), you can personalize your mailing to create tailor-made messages. According to an Infosys Rethinking Retail study (2013), 86 percent of consumers surveyed said personalization played a role in their purchasing decisions.


Direct mail and digital marketing are a winning combination.