• The Latest Direct Mail Response Rate Data from DMA Will Leave You Speechless

    Those who know me understand I’m rarely at a loss for words, but after reviewing the direct mail response rates cited in the recently released 2018 DMA Response Rate Report I was left a little speechless.

    Even though we’ve historically seen direct mail lead the pack when it comes to response rates, the numbers were staggering. So staggering in fact, I was reminded of the small type on Jenny Craig ads that reads, “Results not typical.”

    According to the 2018 DMA Response Rate Report, direct mail response rates come in at 9% to a house list and 5% to a prospect list. The 2017 report showed a response rate of 5.1% to a house list and 2.9% to a prospect list, and the average between 2003 and 2015 was 3.6% to a house list and 1.6% to a prospect list. It also runs laps around any other channel, even if you combined the response rates of all of them. For comparison, email has a 1% response rate to a house list and 1% to a prospect list. Social media and paid search achieved a 1% response rate, followed by online display at 0.30%. However, the survey does make it clear that the sample size for these results was small. We feel compelled to add, “and not typical.”

    Posted January 16, 2019 by Debora Haskel in Direct Marketing Trends

    Click here to see complete article for reasons why.

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    February 5, 2019 • Direct Mail • Views: 1149

  • My experiment in combining direct mail with digital/social

    It’s as true today as it was then.

    Blog by Ashley Friedlein April 27th 2015

     My particular area of expertise is digital marketing, media and ecommerce.

    However, whilst I remain excited by what is possible with purely digital marketing, I am most intrigued by marketing that makes intelligent, creative and effective use of a mixture of media.

    Multi-, or Omni-, channel marketing that choreographs an experience across touchpoints both physical and digital. 

    My particular area of expertise is digital marketing, media and ecommerce.

    However, whilst I remain excited by what is possible with purely digital marketing, I am most intrigued by marketing that makes intelligent, creative and effective use of a mixture of media.

    Multi-, or Omni-, channel marketing that choreographs an experience across touchpoints both physical and digital. 

    You may have seen the recent campaign from MarketReach, the Royal Mail’s direct marketing arm.

    Whilst MarketReach itself is growing as a business, marketing spend on direct mail is falling year on year, by around 5% according to Ofcom figures, as these budgets get allocated to digital.

    The ‘Mail Men’ campaign, conceived by Publicis Chemistry, ran across digital, print, outdoor and, of course, direct mail.

    I noticed it first as a print ad in Marketing Week with this memorable quote from Poke’s Nik Roope:

    Reminded of the power of direct mail I was inspired to conceive something that combined direct mail with digital and social media, to eat my own modern marketing dog food and see how it worked.

    My simple idea was to use what we digerati call a GOL (Good Old-fashioned Letter) to prompt a tracked visit to my LinkedIn profile with the desired action being a request to connect with me.

    The experiment

    Here is how it worked. I bought a direct mail list of digital, marketing and ecommerce professionals. I de-duped that against my existing LinkedIn connections. I then sent a personalised letter to those new possible contacts using Royal Mail’s Mailshots Online tool.

    In that letter I asked the recipients to visit a URL I could track (via bitly) that resolved to my LinkedIn profile and then, if they thought it worthwhile, connect to me.

    I ended up sending 2,000 letters and the whole process took about two hours with most of that time spent writing the actual letter. The total cost was around £1,500. This is average return on investment, or lifetime value, of a high quality professional connection on LinkedIn?

    Harder to say for sure but a single recruit, new customer or event speaker would massively repay this small investment.

    The results

    The results, in terms of profile views and connections are still coming in. I could not track opens or reads of the letter, of course, nor have I been able to track any possible negative sentiment from those who have not responded.

    However, to date there have been 188 uses of the custom URL so a 9.4% response rate with 56% of those views coming within the first two days of the letters landing.

    I have had 156 new LinkedIn connections from those I sent the letter to, so a 7.8% conversion rate and an average cost per new connection of £9.60.

    Clearly there are all sorts of reasons why you cannot draw too many generalized learning from my small experiment. However, apart from the results, there are some interesting points.

    One is simply about data protection and marketing. You cannot legally cold email people. In B2B it is a little greyer but even if you get away with it you get so little response and risk such reputational damage that it is not worth it.

    But you can mail people. So using direct mail to win a digital connection and permission to contact in the future seems to me a clever way to join up traditional and digital.

    Most interesting were the many personal replies and comments I received, particularly from digital professionals extolling the virtues of a letter:

    “Great to receive your LETTER, what a breath of fresh air” Senior Ecommerce Manager;

    “You sent me a letter – old skool. I liked it.” Marketing Director.

    Of my new connections 18 are Marketing Directors at major brands and 33 are Ecommerce/Digital Directors so the quality is very high too.

    Do you have other examples of successfully combining direct mail with digital in compelling ways?

    We will certainly be interested for our Festival of Marketing Awards among other things.

    By Ashley Friedlein April 27th 2015

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    December 6, 2018 • Direct Mail • Views: 703

  • 2018. . . The Year of Video Marketing

    Why 2018 is Turning out to be the Year of Video Marketing and Video in Print

    Direct Mail remains an enormously effective and popular marketing tool while the popularity of video continues to surge. It’s no wonder video in print is gaining momentum and major brands are continuing to embrace it. Consider some of these facts:

    • According to the DMA, 80-90% of direct mail gets opened
    • According to Martin Lindstrom, author of Brand Sense, advertising effectiveness will increase by 70% when brands appeal to more than 3 senses
    • Videos are known to increase people’s understanding of a product or service by 74%
    • 48% of people retain direct mail for future reference

    Take a look at the infographic by Animate2Explain that outlines some statistics that support video marketing in general and then visit our Video Solutions page to see some of our video in print projects!

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    Explainer video infographics

    May 16, 2018 • Video Solutions • Views: 1856

  • Information Packaging Design Wins Big at CMA

    Centre-Pop Design Wins INCITE AWARD at CMA Awards

    Shell’s positive partnership with the AIR MILES® Brand helps encourage drivers to fuel up at their gas stations. Shell sought to leverage that partnership, and boost sales, with a playful, attention-grabbing campaign emphasizing the benefits of loyalty while tapping into the universal appeal of relaxing getaways.


    Shell wanted a message that that would resonate more deeply and last for a longer time than those of their competitors. With the frustrations of winter driving in mind, their creative direct mail piece was a foldable Hula Girl car dashboard decoration that would pop up and invite motorists to collect reward points toward a sunny getaway. The Hula Girl gained additional attention when it was featured by the YouTube channel Foldfactory as a ‘Fold of the Week.’ The direct mailing was followed up by an e-mail reminder, and participating customers were urged to track their progress toward rewards.


    The campaign was considered a success, with more than 28 percent of recipients responding, a seven digit incremental volume increase, and an average volume lift of three percent compared to a control group. Shell was so pleased by the results it got combining direct mail with email that the practice has become a frequent tactic in subsequent campaigns.


    These three-award winning campaigns combined creative thinking with careful planning and immaculate execution, generating offers that struck a chord with their recipients. Putting physical and digital elements together  proved to be a winning formula for each brand.

    Source: 2018 Canada Post Corporation


    March 30, 2018 • Direct Mail • Views: 1586

  • Why Video in Print Can Work for Your Brand

      Information Packaging 2.4″ Video Business Card 
    “If a picture paints 1,000 words then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million.” Dr. James McQuivey, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research
    Within the last decade or so, the marketing landscape has changed tremendously. Traditional outreach in the form of catalogues and printed post cards has given way to email blasts and digital ads as consumers increasingly spend their time online. This change in consumer behavior means that we, as marketers, must also alter the way in which we produce content for the companies and the brands we represent. Not only do we need to be more intentional with the stories we tell, but we must become more strategic in how we tell them.
    Research shows that printed collateral continues to be a compelling and successful way to capture the attention of your target audience. However, when coupled with video, print has the capability to not only gain consumers’ attention, but also to hold it.
    The statistics are there:
    70% of marketing professionals report that video converts better than any other medium (CodeFuel)
    90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions (HubSpot)
    On Facebook, video posts have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts (Social Media Examiner)
    76% of companies who have used videos in the past year report a direct business impact (AdWeek)
    With the blurring pace of modern society, video is one of the few types of mediums that caters to the consumers of today, while still providing the value, relevance and trackable metrics marketing professionals are after. But how can we merge the strengths of print with those of video to create a singular high-impact marketing tool?
    Our video-in-print brochures offer an effective option when it comes to getting your company noticed. One of the biggest advantages of combining these two mediums is the ability to enhance your brand messaging through engaging and supporting content. Video is highly visual and auditory, which means it’s easier for people to remember than text-based content. When consumers remember your video content, they, in turn, remember your brand. This can translate into better brand loyalty as well as more sales and leads.
    Aetna used this dynamic video brochure to send information about its “smarter” healthcare solutions to consumers. The inside of the brochure featured a video screen with 6 buttons underneath it. By pressing each button, consumers could watch a video and learn more about each of the different solutions offered by Aetna.
    T-CAAN is one of Canada’s oldest and most extensive networks of independent advertising, marketing and communication agencies. Information Packaging of Canada used this video handout at a recent T-CAAN event in Calgary. The mechanism they used was the Extendo. When you pull out the bottom panel, another panel automatically slides out from the top featuring a video about Information Packaging.
    Nationwide Financial went “all out” and used this video invitation for its 2016 Nationwide Sales Invitational, a high-end event that rewards an elite group of advisors for their life and annuity sales volume and sales potential with Nationwide. The inside of this elegant mailer featured a video about the event complete with play/pause and volume controls.
    What are you waiting for? Click here to Get in touch with Information Packaging and let’s figure out how to take your marketing to the next level.


    What are you waiting for? Get in touch with Information Packaging and let’s figure out how to take your marketing to the next level.



    July 21, 2017 • Marketing, Video Solutions • Views: 2571

  • Pharma 2020… Marketing the future

    Which path will you take? This paper explores how the industry’s approach to sales and marketing will change as it moves towards providing products and service to improve the health of patients, whilst clearly demonstrating value for money.

    By 2020 the current role of the pharmaceutical industry’s sales and marketing workforce will be replaced by a new model as the industry shifts from a mass-market to a target-market approach to increase revenue. (Posted by pwc)

    Click here for the complete article.

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    July 20, 2017 • Uncategorized • Views: 1748

  • Media’s new reality

    “Overdue marketing reality about social media and digital marketing.”

    It is becoming apparent that more and more marketers are revising their position on traditional media. This is evident from statements made by the Global CMO of Coca Cola, on the use of TV.

    It seems that commercial realism is returning to the marketing arena and the role and value of traditional media is being revaluated and revisited as a channel and a relevant part of the media mix. Included in this is direct mail, and no wonder when 92% of all direct mail gets opened. Combined with social media it can dramatically boost results.

    While the attached article (view here) is about one element of the mix the implications are clear.

    From Ad News – by Anthony Fitzgerald, CEO at MCN, December 12, 2016

    January 15, 2017 • Marketing • Views: 1944

  • Digital-In-Print Marketing Solutions

    Digital-In-Print Solutions can be the ultimate tool in your communications war chest.

    We’ve merged our Digital Solutions with the many high-impact dimensional and interactive paper products, which gives you a wealth of truly powerful communications vehicles.

    • Our Video products delivering the ultimate experience by telling your story through both sight and sound.
    • While devices such as WebKeys, QR Codes and NFC Tags take your audience directly to your website unlocking its dramatic marketing potential.

    Our advantage, a vast selection of high-impact designs – dimensional and interactive,  that become one with our Digital Solutions to achieve your marketing goals.

    Go to Digital-In-Print to find out more



    November 15, 2016 • Marketing • Views: 2028

  • Brands get innovative with physical mail in the marketing mix

    Francis de Brienne, Canada Post’s Director of Commercial Mail Product Innovation, talks about it’s evolution, latest trends and innovations in direct marketing and the importance of integrating physical mail into the marketing mix.

    Tune-In Here for innovative physical mail

    Uploaded on Aug 10, 2016

    November 10, 2016 • Direct Mail • Views: 2141

  • The Future of Marketing Is Direct

    Direct Marketing New Insight:

    The more marketing changes, the more it stays true to its roots.

    About a century ago merchant John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

    Since that time everything—and nothing—in marketing has changed. Today, marketers are awash in more customer data than they ever dreamed they’d have access to. They have technologies at their fingertips that allow them to attract, convert, engage, and retain customers more effectively and efficiently than ever before—often because many of those technologies also allow marketers to collect and use data to gain an understanding of individual customers that’s as good as one a customer may have with a favorite local merchant, but at scale. Marketers also have social and mobile tools that allow them to interact with customers and prospects to a degree unavailable in the past, except perhaps to mom-and-pop business owners.

    These sweeping changes have forever altered marketing. Mass advertising is slowly becoming a distant memory as an ever-growing number of marketers adopt more personalized and targeted approaches to customer communications and interactions. But slowly is the key word here, because the fact remains that as much as marketing has changed, it has also stayed the same.

    Marketers are still vexed by attribution, for example. Many are unsure which or how much of their marketing dollars are wasted on campaigns that don’t resonate with customers and prospects—or would resonate with more personalization or if delivered via a different mix of channels and at different times. Direct marketers have long been proponents of testing to resolve the attribution conundrum; despite this—and the many trackable interactions and channels that marketers can now tap into—today’s convoluted path-to-purchase can stymie even the most adept direct marketers. And despite the benefits of testing, some marketers still shun it. So, the measurement problem Wanamaker decried persists.

    Another way marketing hasn’t changed: Traditional channels hang on. The reason is, simply, because they work. Marketers still invest in such traditions as Super Bowl ads and direct mail—not just for the branding and reach, but also for the relationship-building and revenue-driving opportunities those channels present.

    But, even in areas where marketing seems to be the same as it ever was, there’s been an evolution. And that’s where the excitement and possibilities need more attention, because those areas are where marketing is about performance, not about getting drawn in to shiny objects. Savvy marketers are blending traditional and digital channels in ways that pack significantly more punch than marketing in silos.

    There are plenty of marketers who would like to take a more omnichannel approach, but they’re mired in an older, more siloed approach to marketing, often because their team and processes are designed around a more traditional marketing approach. Ending fiefdoms, bridging silos, and facilitating the collaboration needed to shift to a more omnichannel approach takes tremendous will—as well as C-level buy-in and significant staffing, process, and technology changes.

    Over the next year the marketing industry—and direct marketing in particular—will continue, on one hand, to change at breakneck speed as consumer behaviors and marketing and consumer technologies launch and evolve; and on the other hand, to plod along, as marketers work through the challenges they face in such areas as attribution, organizational change, and optimizing the channel mix.

    DMN will take this arduous journey with these tireless direct marketers, helping to smooth their trip by providing insightful coverage they can act on, now. The editorial team is constantly on the phone and in the field, talking to marketers and vendors to get firsthand views into best practices and tech advances, attending conferences to learn about the strategies and trends that are key topics of conversation, and using social to take the pulse of relevant consumer trends. With all that knowledge we then cut through the noise, acronyms, and marketing-speak to deliver content that helps marketers ride the waves of change while retaining valuable traditions and surmounting challenges.

    Ultimately, our mission at DMN is to help direct marketers “outmarket” the competition by being direct. That is, using data to gain a unique understanding of customers that will allow marketers to drive evangelism, purchasing, and loyalty—to predict their profitable future by using data to define it. And, to once and for all solve Wanamaker’s conundrum by knowing, in no uncertain terms, what influence their marketing has on customers’ actions.

    Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief,

    Direct Marketing News, September 04, 2015

    (Originally published on DMN parent company Haymarket.com’s “Company News” page: http://bit.ly/1KElYRJ)

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    March 7, 2016 • Marketing • Views: 2378