New research puts numbers to what marketers already know: direct mail ROI rises dramatically when direct mail is used as part of an integrated, multichannel marketing campaign.

According to new research, response rates from direct mail campaigns increase 41% when used as part of an integrated marketing campaign, compared to mailings not integrated with other channels. ROI increases nearly 63%.

Sound good? There’s more. When direct mail is personalized and tightly integrated into the channel mix, it results in the following:

  • 62% increase in those reporting “good” or “very good” response rates
  • 80% increase in those reporting good or very good ROI

The study, “2019 Multichannel Marketing Research Report,” conducted by Demand Metric, also looked at the number of channels being integrated in marketers’ campaigns. Half of the respondents reported using between three and four channels in their mix. Just over half (56%) include direct mail.

When channels were compared for effectiveness, direct mail was seen as one of the most effective. Next to events, in fact, “integrated, branded, personalized direct mail” was cited as the most effective channel, with 78% of respondents saying it is effective or very effective. Non-branded, non-personalized direct mail was cited as effective or very effective by 61% of respondents.

Which direct mail formats are the most commonly used?

  • Postcard:53%
  • Letter: 52%
  • Dimensional: 42%
  • Oversized postcard: 29%
  • Oversized letter: 9%

While postcards and letters are used most often, dimensional mail is considered the most effective at representing the brand. This is due to the format’s ability, not just to stand out, but to communicate the brand message interactively, as well as visually.

Which Format Does the Best Job of Representing Your Brand?

  • Dimensional: 89%
  • Oversized letter: 75%
  • Letter: 63%
  • Oversized postcard: 67%
  • Postcard: 60%

Regardless of format used, 52% of respondents reported that adding direct mail to their multichannel mix delivered “moderate to major” improvement to their overall campaign performance. That number jumps to 89% when direct mail is personalized and tightly integrated into the channel mix.

Direct mail’s effectiveness does vary by market segment. While it is effective in the technical markets, for example, it is highly effective in reaching the financial markets and the C-Suite. So do your testing!

“Direct mail acts as a force multiplier to multichannel marketing programs, and it’s uniquely powerful to reach specific audiences,” the report concludes. “[Marketers] that include it in the channel mix and follow best practices for format choice, integration, and personalization, stand out from their competition.”

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