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Why Consumers Trust Direct Mail Marketing

When it comes to marketing, the drive to digital has been relentless. But ROI has been elusive as consumers’ trust in online ads continues to decline. 

According to a study from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), the ROI of a direct mail campaign is 29%, with a response rate of 5.1%. This is much higher than email, which attains only a 0.6% response rate. The study also showed 42% of consumers read or scan direct mail before they throw anything away. When making purchasing decisions, 76% of consumers say they trust direct mail over digital channels. 

As one of the top five most trusted advertising channels, direct mail marketing is clearly making a comeback. 

But why do people prefer direct mail? 

Top Reasons Why Consumers Trust Direct Mail

1. Our Brains

There’s a growing body of evidence that suggests consumers trust direct mail because of the unique way paper-based advertising connects with the parts of the brain that control how we feel and remember things. Brain imaging and eye-tracking studies show our brains actually process paper-based advertising differently than digital advertising. These studies show that paper-based advertising, like direct mail, requires 21% less effort to understand and process, seems more authentic, and generates more emotion.

2. Personalization

Another reason consumers trust direct mail more than digital advertising is it can be personalized for them. A recent study found 63% of Millennial and 58% of Generation X consumers are willing to share data with companies in exchange for personalized offers and discounts. Smart marketers are using this information to create personalized mail pieces, which leads to higher ROI.

3. It’s touchy

Direct mail ads are physical, and this has a big impact on how consumers perceive the messages contained within them. We experience the messaging differently, more profoundly, in a printed piece versus text and image on a screen. And science has shown that the things we touch influence our thoughts and feelings about them.

4. It can wait

People are bombarded daily with emails, popups, notifications, text messages, and the like. All of which force you to stop what you are doing and pay attention. Direct mail isn’t intrusive. It can be set aside and dealt with later. It also serves as a visual reminder, giving consumers repeated exposure to messaging for no additional cost. 

For businesses looking to capture their local market, have you thought about integrating direct mail with your digital initiatives to get the best of both worlds? The evidence is pretty overwhelming that you should. Especially if you hope to build trust with your audience. As digital channels become increasingly too competitive and pricey, and online audiences get harder to reach, businesses need a better solution. Direct mail and other forms of print advertising remain a reliable choice. Direct mail is an extremely effective and flexible addition to any marketing strategy.