The United States Postal Service delivered roughly 86 billion pieces of direct mail. Which, represents 57 percent of all postal mail deliveries in 2015. More marketers add direct mail to their integrated marketing efforts. These efforts should engage customers online and offline. According to Direct Marketing Association, direct mail response rates are 28 times higher than email, followed by 32 times higher than display ads, and 5.8 times higher than paid search.
But, when you look at the trends closely, an interesting phenomenon appears in the direct mail space. Direct Mail solutions spend is seeing an uptick, with an estimated $45 billion in 2015. Yet, spending on the physical direct mail itself has declined. Tellingly, the physical direct mail-piece complements with other digital efforts. So the winning strategy for print and mail service providers requires enhancing their value proposition surrounding direct mail. They could offer personalization, mobile, online/offline integration, and end-to-end multi-channel solutions. All of these can effectively engage and measure customer experience.
The Direct Mail Effect
The Printing Impressions 400 is considered to be the industry’s most comprehensive listing of the leading printing companies in the U.S. and Canada ranked by annual sales volume. Along with other demographic information, it lists primary specialties each company is offering. What’s interesting to note however, is that out of 400 printing companies in this year’s list, 230 of them provide direct mail services.
Bell and Howell’s analysis of the list showed that higher number of companies that provided direct mail services grew their revenue year over year compared to firms that did not offer direct mail services. Companies that offered direct mail services as part of their portfolio grew their revenue. This results in 8 percent in aggregate between 2014 and 2015. On the other hand, the companies that did not offer direct mail services declined. They saw 1 percent less in aggregate year over year, compared to the prior.
The print and mail service industry is experiencing an unprecedented transition from physical to digital communication. This dynamic shift has made it necessary for them to play a larger role in the marketing value chain. Offering a broad range of marketing services helps. As a result, providers have new doors to transform their businesses. Additionally, they can expand their capabilities beyond print to address new opportunities.