Direct Mail Marketing Most Popular

Direct Mail Marketing, the Most Popular form of Marketing

Direct Mail is still the most popular form of marketing even with the onset of internet social marketing.

While historically the lion's share of my past articles have revolved around new technologies and advertising in electronic media outlets, I would be remiss to forget the foundation of all successful marketing plans…which of course is direct mail marketing. That's right, as a traditional marketing medium, it still packs the biggest overall punch as far as reach and brand impression is concerned. The fact is direct mail marketing has maintained the number one seat in overall marketing plan spending since essentially the medium was invented.

Both the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Advertising Age ( have released their 2009 projections for marketing spends, and Direct Mail is still number one, even with a slight decline expected this year.

2009 Projects: U.S. Ad Spending Totals by Medium (Advertising Age, January 2009)

Rank Medium (National and Local) % CHG %TOTAL
1 Direct Mail -2.0 22.6
2 Broadcast TV -7.4 15.7
3 Newspaper -11.7 12.2
4 Cable TV networks 1.0 8.4
5 Radio -6.1 6.4
6 Yellow Pages -4.7 5.1
7 Consumer magazine -7.0 4.7
8 Internet 5.0 4.6
All other -3.0 20.4
TOTAL -4.5 100.0

Though interactive marketing is cool and shows successful gains in such tried and true mediums as email and search marketing, its far reaching penetration isn't quite there yet. And we have to acknowledge that it may never be. Interactive marketing is about niche marketing, and when it's taken up in that approach, it out produces all other forms of advertising hands down. But when you are dealing with a product or service that has a broad appeal or geographical service area, direct mail marketing is the most effective way to get your message and your brand to the masses. Why else would such megabrands as AT&T, McDonald's, American Express, and even Dell put most of their year's marketing spend into direct mail marketing?

And for you naysayers out there, the top ranking is not just because direct mail marketing is more expensive than other interactive marketing mediums. The fact is – a successful marketing plan is based on the premise that you divide your budget based on ROI (return on investment). Is direct mail more expensive? Of course. But remember, if you view marketing as an outright expense rather than an investment, you've got the wrong approach.

Just like any marketing effort, direct mail can be ineffective if done incorrectly. And because of your investment in this medium, it becomes even more important that you understand and address the key components of direct mail to ensure a successful outcome for your campaign. More often than not, it takes the expertise of a practiced direct mail company (such as Postal Systems Inc.) to get your message out to the right mailboxes. So do your research and don't go it alone. What's the larger lesson? Don't put all your dollars into Internet marketing (despite all the hoopla). Direct mail marketing – when done correctly – will pay dividends.

Postal Systems Inc. - Direct Mail Services
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