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Don’t Bury It Yet—Direct Mail Marketing Is Not Dead

Posted October 5, 2015 by EnerBank USA


According to the 2013 U.S. Census, 78.5% of households reported that they owned a desktop or laptop computer, and 73.4% of households reported having high speed internet. With this information, it makes sense why marketers might think it’s time to do away with direct mail marketing; however, it may not be time to discard this traditional marketing channel just yet.

Why direct mail marketing is not dead

  • Only about 20% of all postal addresses have an available email, which means if direct mail is not used, you could be missing up to 80% of your target market.
  • The response rate for direct mail marketing is around 3.4%, versus the 1% or less that comes from email marketing.
  • According to a study conducted by HubSpot, direct mail yields an ROI of $27 for every dollar spent.
  • 30% of email users change their email addresses annually; of the 70% remaining, many of their accounts are changed regularly (which means that email addresses you have on file for a marketing initiative will frequently become unreachable).
  • As surprising as it may seem, an International Communications Research survey found that 73% of consumers prefer receiving mail marketing over other marketing tactics.

Benefits of direct mail marketing

  • With direct mail marketing, you can send creatively shaped and colored envelopes or newsletters that catch the receiver’s eyes and entice him or her to open them.
  • Intrusive

  • Many people have spam filters on their email accounts which will keep your emails out of their inboxes. If your email somehow does make it into their inboxes, it’s highly likely that they will see an unrecognizable sender and delete the email without opening it.
  • With direct mail marketing, there are no filters; it is almost guaranteed to make it into the hands of a human, if only for a few seconds.

These are all a few of the reasons that 76% of small businesses say their ideal marketing plan encompasses a combination of both print and digital communication.

Integrating direct mail marketing with your online campaign

QR Codes – One of the best ways to seamlessly combine direct mail with a digital campaign is through QR Codes. These codes allow people to scan the code with their phones and land on an online video, landing page, contact page, etc.

  • This turns the static print of direct mail marketing into a digital call-to-action.
  • These codes also allow marketers to track where the codes are being scanned geographically, which in turn help measure ROI statistics to use in the future.

Tips for Using QR Codes:

  • Make sure the direct mail design matches that of the digital design.
  • Give the viewer a reason (compelling call-to-action) to scan the QR code.
  • Make the landing page of the QR code mobile-friendly.

Build Your Own QR Codes Here

An example of a successful direct mail marketing campaign

Many large businesses continue to use direct mail as part of their overall marketing campaign, one of which may surprise you.


  • Even though Google is a massive online mogul, they use direct mailing campaigns to reach other businesses and let them know about new services and promotions.

Be Inspired By Other Creative Direct Mail Marketing Initiatives

Direct mail marketing, though a more traditional method, is still a worthwhile investment. With a little research and creativity, you can develop a successful direct mail marketing campaign that combines the best in both traditional and digital communication.