Here’s How Direct Mail Advertising Delivers Results

BY Rachel Cagle
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Digital media definitely rules the roost in the day to day lives of consumers today. Yet, consumers who are ready to make purchases still love direct mail advertising. Here’s what makes direct mail such an effective ad medium your client shouldn’t be overlooking.

Here’s How Direct Mail Advertising Delivers Results

Consumers Engage with Direct Mail on Purpose

Consumers are assaulted with digital ads whenever they open a social app, watch a video or perform an online search. They don’t have a choice in the matter, so they tend to tune out the digital ads they can’t avoid. Direct mail advertising, however, completely relies on consumers choosing to interact with it.

And they do.

According to a report by Vericast, 72% of consumers regularly read ads they get in the mail. And you’ll never guess which generation has the greatest interest in them. It’s Gen Z, with 78% looking at or reading these ads they receive in the mail.

Many consumers even plan some of their weekly routines around direct mail:

  • 54% of consumers read the mail they receive as a part of their daily rituals
  • 49% of consumers say that direct mail is a part of their shopping routine
  • 56% use it to plan out their weekly grocery shopping trips (parents especially at 62%)

Consumers pay special attention to direct mail advertising when they’re planning on making purchases. 51% of consumers say they not only notice these ads when they’re planning a purchase, they also start collecting them. 36% say that they have a specific place in their home dedicated to saving print ads that they find interesting.

Ad Engagement: Direct Mail vs. Digital

Overall, consumers spend an average of 1.6 minutes engaging with each direct mail ad they receive. That’s 0.5 more minutes than they spend engaging with the average digital ad.

Additionally, 55% of consumers say that they pay more attention to direct mail advertising than other ad types. Only 39% of consumers say the same about digital ads.


So, why are consumers so enamored with direct mail advertising? Vericast says that, “Unlike the instantaneous nature of digital messages, readers often anticipate the delivery of physical mail.” This anticipation leads to “a sense of surprise and curiosity upon its arrival.” It also “contributes to the intentional act of setting aside time to explore the contents of the mail.”

Consumers also enjoy receiving direct mail ads because it has a “personalized touch” they enjoy. Positive vibes + anticipation = a slew of positive emotions experienced by consumers when they receive mail.

Direct mail is viewed as:

  • Something to look forward to when advertisers deliver ads on a planned frequency: 49% of consumers agree
  • Enjoyable to read: 54%
  • Relaxing and pleasurable to look through: 54%
  • An ad type that’s used by more genuine brands: 47%
  • More personal than digital ads: 54%

Engagement = Sales

Reading and looking at ads is great, but what really matters is their ROI. Direct mail advertising offers that in spades:

  • 75% of consumers say that direct mail ads make them aware of products
  • 50% prefer learning about new products from direct mail ads
  • 60% agree that direct mail ads are easy to remember when they’re ready to make a purchase. Only 44% say the same about digital
  • 47% are influenced to make purchases by these ads
  • 36% even make impulse purchases based on direct mail ads

What They’re Looking for

Aspects of direct mail advertising that makes its ads so effective are:

  • Coupons: Consumers look forward to clipping coupons, especially with inflation so high
  • Targeted Promotions and Discounts: Exclusive offers, personalized discounts and limited-​time promotions are highly desired by direct mail ad responders
  • Seasonal and Timely Offers: Direct mail campaigns designed around seasons, holidays and special events can help drive consumers to make correlated purchases

Want to see how well your client’s target audience values direct mail ads and what they’re looking to purchase? Check out their profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel to craft the best direct mail advertising possible.

Photo by: Rinck Content Studio