It’s been said that there are three sides to any story: your side, my side, and the truth.

In the world of direct mail marketing, the proponents of digital marketing rejoice upon the assertion that direct mail is declining.

And they’re right.

On the other side, the champions of direct mail report that email is on the decline.

And they’re right too.

(Both sides are right? How can that be?)

Then there’s the truth, which is that email actually is on the decline. This is backed up by statistics.

For instance, the marketing consultancy Marketprofs found that while 44% of consumers recall a brand after getting their email, 75% recall a brand after seeing that brand’s direct mail piece.

The biggest reason for this is in-box overwhelm caused by spam email. More than 74 trillion marketing emails are sent annually. We’d even bet you know someone who has abandoned an email account due to the amount of spam they were receiving.

This flood of digital marketing messages has rendered email less effective. Hence email, though sent more, is actually on the decline in terms of results.

To provide some contrast, marketers send out about 14 billion direct mail pieces annually. Though minuscule in volume compared to email, that constant flood of email has caused direct mail to become novel, just as email was novel 15 or 20 year ago.

So direct mail is more welcomed by people right now. According to the U.S. Post Office, nearly 70% of Americans feel that direct mail is more tangible and personal than email. And where the average read time of a marketing email is two seconds, the Post Office found that people spend an average of 30 minutes reading what they receive in their mailboxes.

What’s more, according to the Direct Marketing Association, postcards are the most-read type of direct mail piece, with 56% of them read by recipients. And perhaps due to the novelty factor, 79% of people respond immediately to direct mail marketing, compared to only 45% of people who click through on the emails they receive.

And what about the future? Who knows? Maybe there’s something coming that’s going to cast a dark shadow on both email and direct mail. But for time being, direct mail is what’s resonating with people and it’s what’s getting most of the response.

So if you’re a wise marketer…


Get your next postcard out to your customers and prospects right now, with ProspectsPLUS! online design, print, and mailing platform. Log on to and upload your design or try our customizable templates to create response-driving campaigns.

Or, if you’d rather turn it over to the experts, give Opportunity Knocks a call at 1 (866) 319-7109. Tell one of our design & marketing brains about your industry, your customers, and your marketing goals and they’ll come back with a postcard campaign that sells.


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