Acquiring new customers is a complex obstacle for nearly all businesses. Marketing departments spend hundreds of hours creating multifaceted strategies meant to attract customers at all stages of the buying cycle. The general buying cycle of any consumer follows a relatively consistent pattern:


Customers between the awareness stage and the consideration stage are the most viable for return on investment. They know they need a product or service and are primed to research the most beneficial option. But how to do you reach customers at this stage? Advancements in digital media tend to push businesses into digital advertising. According to the American Marketing Association, “consumers switch between screens up to 21 times an hour.” Academic director of Market Research and Consumer Behavior Jaime Veiga Mateos follows this thought process: “As consumers, our attention is divided across different screens and multi-tasking, so the fight for our attention is tougher than ever.” It is natural to assume that digital media is the new battleground.


Cutting through the Clutter

How can we cut through the digital clutter and reach our consumers as they identify their needs despite being exposed to as many as 5,000 ads a day? The short answer: we don’t. While digital ads can be a useful and successful component in marketing to new customers, the time-tested nature of print ads are more relevant than ever. Buying ad space in magazines, newspapers, and popular print are already considered commonplace, but businesses often forget the power of direct mail. So much so, that there is a widespread assumption that direct mail is dead.

According to Steven Pulcinella, experienced Director of Digital Marketing and contributing author to Forbes Magazine “[Direct mail] is not just alive and well, but in fact, direct mail could be considered superior to other marketing channels based on recent statistics and studies.” We agree. According to a study by the Rochester Institute of Technology, 56 percent of consumers say they find printed marketing to the “most trustworthy” of media channels.

In as much, the United States Postal Service notes that 98 percent of consumers bring in their mail the day it is delivered and 77 percent sort through it immediately while spending around 30 minutes reading mail on any given occasion. What do these statistics tell us? People trust print ads over digital formats and will spend time reading what is sent to them.


Key Statistics

Crafting a direct mail piece that is eye-catching, informative, and easy-to-read is no simple task, but we have compiled some key statistics and points to help guide your initiatives.


The Data & Marketing Association’s Statistical Fact Book notes that 56 percent of postcards are read by direct mail recipients, making them the most read direct mail pieces. There are few key points with this statistic: people respond to the size, weight, and mental association that a postcard carries. Leverage this tactile and emotive response by creating a direct mail piece that has the look and feel of a postcard sent by a friend.

Use firms or agencies that have proven target audiences for your industry with vetted return rates. Effective direct mail marketers should not target random customers, but rather, build on demographics like average income, home ownership, average home cost, and known purchasing habits based on your industry. If you are unsure, leverage the expertise of your ad agency or in-house marketing team to vet potential direct mail firms before buying in.

Valassis, a leading media delivery firm, notes that US consumers saw available saving incentives totaling $573 billion in 2017. Everyone is making an offer, so make yours stand out. Offer a deal only available via your direct mail marketing piece. Merely printing your regular sales and sending them out is not enough. Consumers do their own research so make your copy compelling – do not waste their time and lose their trust by offering your online or regular specials alone. Direct mail is meant to be exclusive so build on that by offering deals consumers cannot find anywhere else.


Leverage your initial deal as a trigger for a repurchase option. According to Alex Schultz, VP of Growth at Facebook, in his lecture at Stanford University “Before you begin any growth tactics, you first need to get a consistent amount of users consistently using your product. If you don’t have that, you don’t have product/ market fit and you should first focus on making a product people want.” Use your direct mail piece to make it easier for new customers to purchase secondary or follow-up services. This sales tactic is flexible and amendable to every industry – if you buy x you’ll receive y at a discount; purchase $x in services and receive $x for free; purchase your first three visits and receive your fourth for free, etc. Give incentive for your new customer to become a habitual user willing to spend more with your business.

Connect your offline and online branding through your direct mail campaign. Your direct mail piece may be a consumer’s first interaction with your brand, driving them to research your company. What they see on the direct mail piece should be a direct reflection of your business. LucidPress notes that consistent presentation of a brand increases revenue by 23 percent on average. Direct mail is an excellent method to drive traffic to your online resources which may be the tipping point during the consideration phase of a new customer’s buying cycle.

Direct mail can bridge the consumer trust gap, create a tactile link to your product or service, and can drive new customers to your online resources. A solidly planned and designed direct mail piece cuts through digital clutter meeting your new customers at home, while they are making purchase decisions. Contact Ocreative if you would like guidance or more information regarding direct mail campaigns in your industry.

About Ocreative

Ocreative is a Milwaukee marketing agency, with expertise and broad experience in developing digital marketing strategies, and growing their online presence, for their clients. The company’s core values include offering the highest level of customer service, award-worthy quality, and performance that surpasses client expectations. Ocreative is located just outside Milwaukee, and works with clients locally, nationally, and globally. Their clients have access to some of the most fun and knowledgeable professionals around – ones who inspire, educate, and problem solve. The agency provides marketing and brand strategyadvertising and designwebsite design and social media, and video expertise to their clients, fulfilling their desire for business growth, and their aspiration to make a mark on their industry.