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Can Direct Mail Still Work?

Sacramento Direct Mail-Print Driven Solutions

Sacramento Direct Mail Campaign-Best Marketing Agency Sacramento

The shift away from print media to digital is definitely here to stay. However, that does not mean print should be abandoned all together. A direct mail campaign can actually be highly effective today.


  • People are burned out on SPAM email
  • The Response Rate of direct mail far out performs that of email campaigns
  • The best marketing strategy blends multiple tools


OK “like” might not be the right word. However, today’s modern consumer appreciates a well thought out, personalized, real piece of mail. Meanwhile, most people are so inundated by SPAM emails that our inbox has become a greater annoyance than our mailbox.

This shift has occurred over the last few years. The biggest reason for the change to digital is access. There are not many barriers to entry when it comes to creating an email campaign, so everyone is doing it. However, few are doing it well, and that has resulted is an oversaturation of spam emails that do more to annoy than to engage.

The U.S. Postal Service actually did a research study with the help of Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making to learn about the human response to both physical and digital media. Check out the results:

An “X” indicates which media performed better

As you can see, humans had a much stronger emotional connection and response to print media. In case you have not heard, an emotional connection with your customers leads to more purchases and more loyalty.


One important way to measure any campaign is to track the Response Rate or Engagement Rate. Response Rate is the amount of people who respond to the campaign’s call-to-action (“call now”, visit our website, use this coupon code, etc…) compared to the amount of people who received the campaign. For example, if you send out 1000 pieces of mail, and 200 of them call you, then your Response Rate is 200/1000 = 20%.

Sure, tracking direct mail results is a little harder than with digital media. However, it can be done very accurately when you utilize the right tools (CONTACT US TODAY TO LEARN HOW).

The largest study comparing print to digital may be a few years old now, but the results are still eye opening:

According to the DMA, the average response rate for direct mail in 2016 is 5.3%. That stacks up against 0.6% for email, 0.5% for paid search ads, 0.9% for online display, and 0.6% for social media.

Response rates may not translate directly into a sale, but that typically has less to do with the medium and more to do with skilled closing techniques.


Still not convinced that Direct Mail works? Consider this:

  • 51% of Americans pay more attention to print mail than to emails
  • It has been scientifically proven that reading on paper requires impressively less cognitive efforts compared to digital. Thus, the human brain needs 21% less cognitive resource to process the information on print. This helps readers to easier grasp the information and remember it longer
  • In fact, consumers remember the brand name 70% better if they see it on a print ad (75%) compared to digital ad (44%)
  • 10% more customers will visit advertiser’s website because of effective print ads
  • 26% of them will keep direct mail for future reference


Really what it comes down to is this: digital is “easier” to get started with than print. It is faster to get going, it usually costs less up front, and pretty much anyone with a little bit of tech savvy can piece together an email campaign. However, the real experts know that digital is not the “end-all-be-all”, but just another tool.

Don’t abandon print campaigns just because you think they don’t work, or because some agency tells you they don’t. Print has a place in your marketing, just like social media does, and email does. This is how PDS approaches all of our customers. We look at your business, your customers base, your budget, and your targets. From there we design campaigns that will get you the most engagement and opportunity for sales.

If you aren’t using all the great resources around you then you are missing out! CONTACT PDS TODAY to see how we can help you grow.

Sacramento Direct Mail Campaign-Best Marketing Agency Sacramento