Advertising and marketing are undeniably becoming more digital-focused, but does this mean that there will be less noise to compete within the world of print? The digital sphere has proved itself time and time again that it can be a great platform for gaining widespread awareness but is also highly congested and is becoming increasingly difficult to compete for face time with customers.

Around 70% of people in the UK say that they believe they receive ‘too many emails’ which, for marketers, is a big warning sign. 74 trillion emails are sent every year, with their average lifespan lasting just 2 seconds, so with this information, it is critical for companies to reconsider their email marketing tactics and potentially look to expand beyond the digital spectrum.

When we consider how many letters are sent every year, amounting to 13.8 billion, with over 12 million of these attributed to direct mail, in comparison to email, have a lifespan of a massive 17 days, meaning that customers are much more likely to be handled multiple time by your target audience.

Is direct mail more memorable?

Research previously revealed that direct mail is, in fact, more memorable, with 75% of recipients able to remember what the brand of the direct mail piece was, after reading. This is compared to its digital counterpart, which amounts to around 44% maximum.

Deleting an email is considered overall much more of a habit and is much easier to do than discarding a letter. Often, when opening a letter there is at least some intent to read it, which could reveal the reason why direct mail is considered overall more effective.

There is also a considerable discrepancy in response rates for direct mail and email. With direct mail achieving around a 4% response rate, email responses rates fall to around 0.12%, which demonstrates how people interact with physical materials more than they are willing to interact with an email.

Finally, direct mail has also been linked with an increase in generating new customers, with a total of 34% of all new customers attributed to direct mail campaigns. Compared to email, there is a 10% discrepancy, with the digital platform only delivering 24%.

According to Royal Mail research, 51% of customer communications were preferred to be a mixture of digital and print. 55% of those surveyed noted that they felt more value when receiving a letter and therefore, this adds value to the platform along with increasing brand awareness, ROI and building customer experience.

Using print to communicate

On any platform, an understanding of the consumer, what they want and what they need is crucial to success. At this point, the brand should not be considering what the customer needs from the company and instead push the focus on to selling them an idea, for example, ‘do they want to look a certain way?’ instead of ‘do they want these new shoes?’ is likely to be more effective.

Without substance, a marketing piece is rendered pointless. In order to be effective, marketers must consider the audience and understand what appeals to them and this will ultimately lead to a better understanding of how to leverage emotions, build their investment in your product and push them to make the decision to convert based on the information you have supplied.

Direct marketing relies on building the urge to want to know more, which can be achieved through building a piece of content that will appeal to the target audience, whether this is through colour, font, imagery or any number of elements. In order to be successful within direct mail, it is important to remember to be persuasive,  intriguing and eye-catching.