Perhaps you have decided direct mail is worth investment, but aren’t sure how to go about using it to meet your goals. Luckily the USPS did a study in 2014 that gives us some insight into consumer behavior and the efficacy of different direct mail options. It turns out that postcards are the most effective means of direct mail communication.
According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 50.9% of consumers find postcards to be “useful”, making them the most favored form of direct mail. Postcards polled much stronger than “letter-size envelopes”, which were only considered to be useful by 26.8% of those polled. “Larger than letter envelopes” polled in the middle of the three, at 42.9% useful.
This perceived usefulness is evident in the rates at which different types of direct mail are read. Post cards again lead at 50-55%, while larger than letter envelope content is only read by a member of the household 41% of the time. Letter size falls further behind at 33%.
Some of these numbers actually have the potential to go up over the next few years. Although Millenials are the generation most associated with the boom of technology and rejection of “the old-fashioned way”, they are actually the most likely to appreciate direct mail. 90% of Millenials consider direct mail to be a reliable source of information and 87% say they actually like getting information from retailers in the mail. And while older Millenials (aged 22-34) are less likely than the rest of the population to respond to direct mail, those aged 18-21 in 2013 were more likely than older Millenials, more closely resembling the rest of the population (although still responding slightly less often). These younger Millenials don’t have the financial capability to even respond to many offers and advertisements, yet still respond to enough volume to statistically trend like
Other pro for postcards? They’re cheaper to print and mail than letters or larger pieces of mail. This stretches a budget further for either more mailing or spending that money elsewhere. With limited financial resources it makes sense to spend advertising money on postcard direct mail.