Snail Mail Beats Email In Survey

Can this be real? A new study by Lob shows that marketers see direct mail as their best-performing channel and intend to send more of it.

Specifically, 60% see postal mail as more effective than email. And despite the higher costs, 61% say direct mail produces the highest ROI of any channel they use, which flies in the face of studies showing that email produces the top ROI.  

Mind you, Lob provides a software platform that facilitates automated and personalized direct mail. Not that this means the study is skewed, but one has to question at least some of the conclusions.

For instance,  the study says, “Over half of all companies see response rates of 5% or greater across all types of campaigns. Comparing that to the average email response rate of less than 1% shows why companies remain enthusiastic about the channel.”

Please supply some support for that claim. A new study by Yes Marketing shows that holiday email open rates averaged 10.8%.



Then there’s this: “As email unsubscribe rates skyrocket, marketers are looking for similar tools to replicate traditional digital strategies with physical mail,” states Leore Avidar, CEO and co-founder of Lob.

No evidence is given to show that email unsubscribe rates are skyrocketing. On an episodal basis, there may be some mild increase due to the fact that consumers choose to engage with a brand by unsubscribing rather than by identifying emails as spam.

All that aside, the study also reports that 64% of respondents agree direct mail produces the highest response rates. In addition, 60% expect their direct mail volume to increase over the next five years.

Over a third allocate up to 25% of their marketing budgets to direct mail, and a quarter budget 25%-50%.

In addition, 73% say direct mail aimed at customer engagement or retention will take on a greater strategic role.

The study continues that 60% of direct mail volume is split evenly between customer acquisition and retention, and 40% win-back for churned (or lapsed customers) and customer advocacy or referral campaigns.

Direct mail is a valuable—and venerable—channel. It has a secure place in the marketing mix, and is moving ever closer to digital channels with its capabilities. Indeed, it works best in tandem with email, numerous sources agree.

So let’s not consign email to the ash heap of marketing history.

Lob surveyed what it says were over 200 marketing industry leaders.


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