The Future of Direct Mail DELIVERED Conference Recap


SG360° Vice President of Marketing, Melanie De Caprio, presented findings from The Future of Direct Mail annual market research at the DELIVERED conference in September. The full report of this research is 44 pages of powerful insights to absorb, but Melanie covered key details and highlights, and revealed essential data that would benefit any omnichannel marketer.

Watch Melanie’s complete DELIVERED presentation above, scroll through to capture the highlights below, or request the full report here. Or do all three.

Want to skip to particular information? Hover over the video and click the Chapters icon on the bottom right of the control bar to open the chapter links.


Direct mail performs better than other channels

Direct mail provides higher conversion rate than any other channelAll marketers surveyed said they receive benefits from direct mail that exceed any other channel, and the majority said direct mail outperforms their other channels in multiple ways.

76% of marketers surveyed receive higher conversion rates from direct mail than they receive from any other channel, and 66% of marketers achieve a lower cost to acquire a new customer.

Melanie cautioned that marketers often limit their potential audience by focusing their budgets too heavily on digital ads and social media. You can hear her explanation of this and additional direct mail benefits and response rates at {01:46} in the above presentation.

What’s driving direct mail performance?

Overall, 84% of consumers converted to a transaction as a result of direct mail compared to 66% last year. Melanie gives context for why we saw these year-over-year performance increases at {05:15}, comparing marketers’ post-COVID approach versus the following year. Listen as she explains, shared straight from the consumers themselves, the “Make or Break Factor” for creating direct mail campaigns that consumers respond positively to. You’ll see the evidence that tightly honed audiences and messaging dramatically impact the results of your direct mail campaign.

Your first-party data quality impacts campaign performance

The research shows a direct link between the quality of your customer data and your campaign performance, but a surprising number of marketers admitted to having a weak understanding of who their customers are and why they do business with them. Melanie shares themes among marketers where they need improvement with first party data, and the impact it is having on campaign performance, at {11:17}.

Consumers tell us what they want

Consumers are pretty consistent in their affinity toward direct mail, although there are some distinctions across generations in terms of how they engage. Melanie shared a few highlights and action steps {08:20}, and how younger consumers feel about direct mail at {10:41}. The full report reveals the full set of insights by demographic… on what you can do to increase traction with your direct mail campaigns, including the steps each generation wants you to take to make your mail better!

Consumers are driven to act by marketing mail

The percentage of consumers who made a transaction as a result of direct mail increased 27% over last year!

Melanie goes on to discuss specific transactions that consumers reported making as a result of receiving a mail piece in the preceding 6 months. Spoiler alert: 61% of consumers purchased a physical product as a result of receiving a mail piece, and consumers who signed up for a financial product more than doubled last year’s result. Get the details on other consumer transactions at {04:23} in the presentation or page 6 of the The Future of Direct Mail report.

Need to convert more men?

Busting the myths around marketing to men, Melanie shared data on the actions taken by men and women as a result of receiving marketing mail. Somewhat surprisingly, the research showed men are more likely to convert than women on all types of transactions as a result of marketing mail. Men are also more likely to take non-purchase actions, such as researching a brand online, after receiving direct mail.

A specific list of transactions by gender is available at {09:37}.

For a deeper dive, including the two key factors both men and women agree on for improving direct mail, and specific transaction rates across the generations, refer to the full Future of Direct Mail report.

ROI-Enhancing steps, and missteps

The data show that many marketers are missing various opportunities to maximize the return on their advertising spend. Melanie covered the highlights of the USPS promotions and urged marketers to find a direct mail partner who can help them apply and qualify for all USPS savings programs offered throughout the year.

Many marketers are overspending

Unlike digital channels, direct mail provides options for significantly lowering your cost per impression through annual USPS promotions and other postal optimization strategies. Despite the significant savings available, 36% of marketers told us they did not participate in USPS promos, and the reason they gave was lack of provider assistance.

Learn about important postal savings options, and the various requirements at {12:40}.

Free Bonus: For an overview of the 2024 USPS Promotions, their schedules, and suggestions on how to take advantage of each, access our handy resource.

4 ways to optimize your campaigns

Direct mail is the workhorse for direct response marketers, but there is a gap in communication between direct mail providers and direct mailers that is impacting return on marketing investment. With this in mind, Melanie shares four key ways to put The Future of Direct Mail research into action to improve your campaign performance and increase your ROI. Refer to {17:51} for complete details on:

  1. Taking better advantage of savings opportunities
  2. Rethinking your marketing mix
  3. Honing your targeting
  4. Strategizing your testing
What the audience asked

During the Q & A session, the live audience had several thought-provoking questions, including:

  • Which mail formats work best? {23:49}
  • What is a typical breakdown of mail cost? {25:47}
  • Are USPS promos offered to non-profits? {27:15}
  • Are there positive results from sensory promos? {27:44}
  • Is direct mail effective for all industries? {28:44}

Download the full Future of Direct Mail report

The full Future of Direct Mail report is available now for immediate download. The data and insights are crucial to finalizing your 2024 strategies, so grab your copy today!