The Death of Direct Mail?

When I tell hip social media experts that I specialize in direct mail copywriting, they laugh and tell me it is an obsolete medium that no one uses anymore.

If that’s true, why ?does an article in Deliver (2/11, p. 5) tell us that global direct mail advertising will reach $25 billion a year by 2015?


774 thoughts on “The Death of Direct Mail?

  • I hope they stick to online social media only. If it were true that less people were using it, it would only make those of us employing it all that more effective. I love that many businesses are going online only. When we deliver physical mail it has a much more profound effect.

  • Yeah, there’s been a lot of cockiness with online marketing gurus lately. Here’s what I know first hand: If you mail out 5000 units with snail mail and 5000 units via email with the SAME offer, the snail mail will out pull it 22 times..and this is a modest number. I believe the order of effectiveness in marketing mechanisms are as follows: 1. Face to face. 2. Telephone. 3. Direct Mail. Television, newspaper, radio are below these mechanisms, but the internet is one of the worst mechanisms devised by man. However, the rise of social networking has opened up some opportunity that the internet didn’t provide 5 years ago.


    I laugh back at him *silently*…

    It’ll be our dirty little secret that the social media “expert” never gets to find out.

    While our direct mail campaigns beats previously bagged profits by 125%…

    He’s in for a rude awakening as his social media campaigns derail one after another worse than a 15 carriage train wreck.

  • It’s amazing what people can come up with!

    it has been proven that time tested techniques of direct mail marketing still works online and offline. Can “they” prove to us their profitability?

  • then why do I…

    1. still get spam in the snail
    2. receive offers I like
    3. see others using it (in combination with web 2.0 or not)

    Whenever I hear someone saying that “X is dead” I show him the vice-versa evidence. He might just tell me, well that’s going to die soon, or it was just resurrected. 🙂

  • Something I pointed out recently to a marketer engaged in a similar discussion: Google and HostGator sent my business two direct mail solicitations within the past six months with a PPC and web hosting offer.

    That should be all the proof anyone needs as to whether or not direct mail is alive and kicking.

  • Jim, I received the same mailings. And isn’t odd that when ever a major company wants to kick off a website, they turn to traditional media? I’m reading a book right now titled: “The New Rules of Marketing & PR.” The author stuck his foot in his mouth in the first chapter when he said that Direct Mail and Radio and magazines aren’t designed to target consumers. He really needs to know media and their purpose before making such stupid statements. But nonetheless, what disturbs me about social media and online marketing is the lack of intrusiveness. In fact, it relies on the prospect seeking the business out…instead of the business seeking out the prospect. This means you could have every sales advantage, but never been seen or heard.

  • “In fact, it relies on the prospect seeking the business out…instead of the business seeking out the prospect. This means you could have every sales advantage, but never been seen or heard.”

    That’s why SEO is so big. I can’t imagine making money online if people can’t find me. In fact I remember reading somewhere that the most important online marketing skills are copywriting and SEO, but social media content isn’t really connected to search engine rankings, as far as I know.

  • I think so much of the market is sick of SPAM…and so few (in relation to the entire market) are using Social Media…that Direct Mail is still effective.

    Personally, I WELCOME mailed pieces, yet I delete e-mailed ads immediately and have all kinds of SPAM filters in place so I never have to read them to begin with!

  • Agree with Jeff; I find that with SO much spam coming now in Twitter and now Facebook, much gets deleted by most. I think mailed pieces stand out MORE because of the push toward everything going online. Companies that use both methods, online and DM are smart.

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  • Awsome article and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you guys have any ideea where to employ some professional writers? Thx 🙂

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