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Postal marketing – is there still a place for it?

You would be forgiven for thinking with the increase in the use of smartphones, and the ability to access emails from just about anywhere that postal marketing had had its day. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whilst it is certainly true that direct, or postal, marketing has seen a drop in its popularity in recent years its value both to salespeople and marketers should not be dismissed. 

A survey carried out by the Direct Marketing Association found that the response rate to direct mail is still around 4.4% whilst the response rate to emails is just 0.12%

What is postal marketing?

Postal marketing can come in a number of different forms so let’s take a look at what it actually is. It can any information that you send to customers in the mail. This might be your new catalogue, information leaflets about special offers or even letters, telling customers and potential customers about any changes that you have made. They are things that might result in contact with the customer that could ultimately result in business. These are physical things which tend to make it more likely the customer will respond; of course, in some cases it may simply be to ask to be removed from your mailing list. 

Emails, on the other hand, pop into our inbox with alarming regularity. We might intend to return to an email about a special offer but its very easy to forget of simply lose the email in a sea of other more important messages. Email messages can also be cheaper to send, which can result in many companies sending too many, which can be annoying and result in their email address being blocked. 

Advantages and disadvantages of postal marketing

In a world where much of the post that we receive through the mail will consist of bills, many people still like to get a piece of mail, and that includes something that has been sent for marketing purposes. It can also, as we already mentioned, have a better response rate than email marketing. And, it is a valuable asset when it comes to account-based marketing.

Of course, there is no denying that the price of postage, even when bulk business rates are taken into consideration, has shot up drastically in the last few years. This makes postal marketing a much more expensive option. What this means is that although you may get more response from a postal mailing, the return on investment (ROI) of an email campaign is, in fact, much better. 


It is worth mentioning that with the introduction of GDPR marketers and salespeople need to take care when choosing how they engage with potential customers if they wish to be compliant. Direct, or postal marketing offers a good opportunity to connect with clients offline and makes GDPR just that little bit easier. If your marketing costs more, then you are less likely to bombard clients and potential clients with everything.

Used in combination, postal marketing and email marketing can both have a positive impact on your business. Why not explore a joint strategy that could really reap rewards?

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