The biggest challenge in today’s competitive business landscape is for companies to grab, and hold on to, consumer interest in a world that’s long on digital noise, and short on attention. If you’re unfamiliar with direct mail’s marketing super powers, you may be surprised to learn just how potent and influential a role it can play as part of your company’s customer communication mix.

The power of direct mail stems from its innate ability to combine the familiar with the physical: two characteristics that are noticeably missing from digital advertising efforts. Receiving, handling, and reading physical mail is a ritualistic, hands-on experience. It’s also a practice that has been shown to trigger an emotional response in consumers – one that very often leads to some form of action. In fact, studies suggest that 40-50% of consumer purchases – both online and in-store – are the result of a direct mail ad.

Offsetting Digital Distractions

If you’ve ever felt that the world is awash in a sea of digital distractions, you’re not too far off the mark. Did you know that 90% of all global data has been generated in just the past couple of years?

Research conducted by prestigious Bangor University in Wales recently concluded that, when it comes to how our brains react to printed materials versus virtual stimulation, physical media excels at inserting itself inside our memory banks. And the personal sense of emotion that print material creates encourages both:

  • positive brand recognition, and
  • consumer motivation

While email and other digital advertising methodologies have been shown to be highly effective marketing tactics to a point, many consumers find them to be both intrusive and disruptive. The Data & Marketing Association suggests that the success of digital marketing can be significantly improved when it’s strategically employed alongside direct mail marketing.

Here are six surprising direct mail super powers you may not have known about. Why not consider putting these abilities to work for your business, by making them part of your next multi-platform marketing campaign?

1. Direct Mail Gets Noticed

Across all age groups, print mail continues to be read and trusted by the majority of consumers. The bottom line is that people are far more likely to notice and read the ads that land in their mailboxes, than they are the digital communications that land in their inboxes.

In bearing out Bangor University’s research, a full third of consumers confirm that the most effective method for getting them to remember a company’s product or service, is through direct mail communications.

2. Direct Mail Gets Kept

One of the biggest benefits of direct mail is that it offers the opportunity for repeat brand exposure and engagement. Those catchy postcard mailers that double as:

  • coupons,
  • menus, or
  • codes for online discounts

are great for drawing consumer attention, and keeping it. Some forms of direct mail are kept – and prominently display inside the home – for as long as a month or more. And that’s a hard feat to beat when it comes to both immediate and deferred marketing value.

3. Direct Mail is Comfortable

Sifting through the daily mail is firmly entrenched as part of the average consumer’s home-coming habits. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the power this comfortable ritual wields, and the intimate emotions it generates.

By inviting your business directly into their personal living area, home office, or kitchen environment, customers inadvertently endow your direct mail materials with emotionally-charged significance. And when positive feelings are tied up with your print communications, there’s a natural tendency for clients to become more open to your company’s direct mail offers.

4. Direct Mail is Persuasive

Whether spontaneous or planned, consumers are directly affected and persuaded by the ads they find in their mailboxes. Every step of the buyer’s journey can be successfully influenced by direct mail marketing:

  • Direct mail can introduce your product or service, by serving as an initial source of insight,
  • It can stimulate prospects to seek out additional information through a phone call, or in-store or online visit, and
  • Direct mail materials often provide the basis for both deliberate and unintentional purchases

In fact, more than 90% of consumers claim that their household shopping is inspired by direct mail flyers!

5. Direct Mail is Loved

Want people to love your brand? Direct mail is a great way to get consumers to associate feelings of happiness with your company – especially since they enjoy receiving physical mail twice as much as they do digital messages.

Communicating with your clients and prospects by mail adds a personal touch to your messaging that simply can’t be matched by email or other online advertising avenues. And it’s the ideal way to make customers feel valued and appreciated by your business.

6. Direct Mail Drives Digital Traffic

When paired with digital advertising, direct mail contributes enormously to the success of multi-channel marketing endeavors. Direct mail helps to drive consumer traffic – period. And whether this traffic takes the form of a physical visit, or engagement with your company’s website or social media platforms, response to direct mail has been shown to be consistent across the board. In other words, rather than being viewed as outdated or old-fashioned, print mail is just as likely to inspire Millennials to act on your offers, as it is their Boomer counterparts.