The Man, The Myth, The Mail


Scotland – the home of the Loch Ness monster, the Haggis and the Kelpie.

These are all urban legends that we have been told at some point in our lives. But what do they all have in common?

Yes, they are urban legends. Much like the urban legend that Direct mail is dead and that it was killed by the internet.

However, in comparison to Scotland’s mythical creatures, direct mail does exist and is very much alive! Not only is there proof to back said statement, but it is also more credible than a shaky video recorded with a camera from the ’50s or a dodgy altered image of your friend wearing a shark fin.

Here are few of the most common and recurring myths surrounding direct mail in the digital age.


Myth 1 – Direct mail is too expensive.


When trying to get your message out there, many marketing strategies will cost you a few pennies. Would you, however, believe me, if I said that direct mail would get you more for your money than paying for online display ads?

While the cost of direct mail may be a little higher than sending emails, the ROI when using direct mail is considerably higher. As revealed by The Online Marketing Institute, the cost per lead in comparison to other channels is lower and had a response rate of 4.4% for both business-to-business and business to consumer mailings.

Furthermore, the ANA/DMA found that the median cost per response when mailing to a prospect list is roughly about £38.04!


Side note – It is important to have your direct mail campaign goals defined before launching. Knowing how many potential clients you are hoping to gain from your campaign in relation to how much you are spending can help measure the success of your campaign.


Myth 2 – Direct mail has a low response rate.


In the ANA/DMA ‘s Response Rate Report of 2018, they found that the response rates for direct mail in both the prospect lists and house lists were significantly higher than the previous year.

  • Direct mail still pulls a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing. Its response rate ranges from about five to nine times greater than that of email, paid search, or social media.
  • The direct mail response rate was 4.9% for prospect lists in 2018. This is significantly higher than in 2017 and the highest since the report started in 2003.
  • In 2018, the direct mail response rate for house lists was an incredible 9%. This is also the highest number for house lists since the report started and is nearly double from the previous year.


Myth 3 – Millennials favour digital


One of the most recurring allegations is that millennials primarily respond to online and\or mobile communication. Who would think otherwise? Walking along the street you see most of them with their eyes locked onto the screen.

In a study conducted by the US Postal Service, they found that 77% of millennials read and analyse direct mail advertisements and that 90% of them consider direct mail marketing to be more reliable.



Did you also know, in a poll conducted by Gallup they found that “Across all ages, about four in ten of people (41%) look forward to checking their mail each day.” And more specifically in this case, regarding millennials, “36% of people under 30 look forward to checking the mail each day!”

Could this be because the current generation embraces things that are considered “retro” and “old-school”? As much as this will sound like a personal opinion, but long as mullets and jeans with flares don’t make a comeback, I am all for this trend!