Hey! Where’s Direct Mail in This Survey List?

By | July 13, 2013

I was browsing email subject lines and one about Millennials using print caught my eye. Every now and then, you see data showing that direct mail and other print media carry weight — and influence — among this coveted and digital-media-heavy demographic.

I clicked through, and the data from was Experian (Digital Marketing Report 2013).  It did show Millennials using print, but it was newspapers and magazines. In a seven-day span (“seven-day platform reach”), the chart indicated, approximately 70% of 18-24-year olds were reading newspapers and magazines.  Nice to know, but . . .

Television, mobile phone, radio, newspaper, home computer, magazine, work computer, game console, MP3 player, tablet, e-Reader. Those were the categories included, leaving magazines and newspapers the print representatives.

Where was direct mail? Despite the power that print continues to show in influencing consumer decisions and as part of consumers’ preferences, somehow it was not included in the media mix being studied.  How did direct mail get overlooked?

Yes, postal volumes are dropping, but direct mail is still a powerhouse in terms of marketing influence. Every time media influences are studied, direct mail shows tremendous power influencing buyer decisions. Response rates to personalized mail are consistently high. Studies show that especially for certain products (high-end, financial, health, and other categories deemed to be more personal) consumers overwhelmingly prefer marketing by print rather than email. The list goes on. So how did direct mail get overlooked here? If it was intentional, it was a really unfortunate (and inaccurate) message to send.

Hey researchers, let’s not forget about one of the most powerful tools marketers have!


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One thought on “Hey! Where’s Direct Mail in This Survey List?

  1. Todd Butler

    It is strange when doing the study that they left off direct mail. Especially when you consider that Experian is a big data provider to the direct mail industry. You would think they would want to bolster one of their primary lines of business with statistics from this study.

    But then again, maybe they are signaling that they plan to leave this part of their business (and customers) behind.

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