Direct mail has staying power

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“Is direct mail deader than disco?” That was the question recently posed by a marketer on a business networking Web site. Judging from the wiggle room now available in mailboxes across America, it might appear that the sentiment is one shared by many companies, especially with today's unprecedented economic trials.

Marketers throughout the country are increasingly reducing their investment in or even abandoning the direct mail channel in favor of cheaper options such as digital. But do consumers actually prefer digital to mail?

A new DMNews/Pitney Bowes survey on consumer attitudes and behaviors related to mailed promotional materials concludes that direct mail is still definitely a channel to be reckoned with. Results of the survey, conducted in September 2008, suggest that drastically reducing or eliminating use of the direct mail channel is probably not good for business — especially in light of the economic slowdown. What's more, holding on to old-fashioned notions about direct mail may leave companies vulnerable to competitive promotional offers that arrive in one of today's most personal and relatively uncluttered points of contact: the consumer mailbox.

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