What’s In Your Mailbox?

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Over the past week, I’ve gotten between 85 and 120 emails a day.

That’s about the going rate for the average American business person. In contrast, the mail the postman delivers to our home or work seems miniscule. And maybe because it is more limited, real mail gets our attention. Postal mail gets more notice because we get less of it than we once did.
Direct Mail

Postal mail is tangible

Postal mail is something we can hold, carry with us to the couch as we relax after work. Studies show we actually like shuffling through it.

For example:

  • 73 percent of us prefer to receive direct mail because we can read it at our convenience.
  • 62 percent of us say we like checking our mailbox for postal mail.
  • In 80 percent of our homes, getting the mail is a priority. And when the mail is brought into the house, 80 percent of us sort it immediately.

Most businesses use direct marketing

Last year, a survey of marketers showed that 80 percent planned to use direct mail marketing. Americans’ positive attitudes toward postal mail might be one reason 21 percent of businesses say they will spend more on direct marketing in 2014.

Real mail is more dependable

The old saying, “The mail will go through,” is as true today as when mailmen raced west on ponies. If you have a valid name and address, your intended recipient will at least see the direct mail you send although there is no guarantee they will open it.

When marketing is sent by email, it must navigate firewalls, spam filters and other obstacles. And if your message does go through, recipients aren’t all that likely to read it. One study says that most of us read only 22 percent of our email and that 84 percent of the email we get is junk.

In the end, that might mean that direct mail, sent by the old-fashioned postal mail, might be a more effective way to deliver our message. Read more about the benefits of direct mail here.


Bill Nichols

April 21, 2014

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