It’s no question that direct mail campaigns work. Direct mail campaigns often have very high open rates and can feel very personal when they’re done well. Open rates for direct mail can reach 90 percent, and at least 42 percent of recipients consistently read (or scan) their mail. However, many people shy away from direct mail marketing because of common misconceptions about postal rates and the USPS direct mail services in general. Here’s a look at the most common myths about direct mail and the USPS - and a solid debunking of each!

1. Postal Rates Are Too Expensive for Bulk Mail

This direct mail myth is incredibly pervasive, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the USPS offers a variety of discounts for direct mail projects. These discounts are part of seasonal promotions and vary depending on the time of year, but they typically range from 2 to 4 percent.

While this might seem small, a 4 percent discount can actually be substantial when you’re sending out large quantities of mail. If you’re sending over 50,000 pieces of mail, that 4 percent could result in hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars in savings.

It’s also important to consider the overall ROI on your direct mail campaign. Although direct mail is a big investment up front, it’s proven to generate a higher ROI on average than many other forms of marketing. In fact, direct mail response rates are five times higher than other advertising channels. Even if you end up making a big investment up front for your direct mail campaign, it could end up paying for itself and then some.

2. Direct Mail Takes Too Long

Another common misconception is that direct mail takes too long to reach the end customer. This is not always the case. In fact, delivery usually takes just one to two weeks once your mailers have been designed and printed.

If you are looking for faster delivery, you can opt for First Class mail. While First Class mail comes with a higher price point, it can also get your mailers out slightly quicker. The exact shipping time will depend on your location.

Related: How Much Does Direct Mail Cost?

For most businesses, there’s no need to send your direct mail First Class. The standard presort option is already very fast, and most direct mail is only traveling a short distance. Using the standard shipping time will help you keep costs down, but it will still get to your recipients quickly.

The USPS also gives you the option to track your direct mail once it’s been sent. Their informed visibility tool shows you exactly when your mail has been sorted and delivered. You can coordinate the delivery times with other aspects of your marketing campaign.

3. Direct Mail Is Difficult to Customize

In such a competitive market, you need to make your business stand out with unique and creative marketing techniques. Many marketers don’t realize just how much you can customize your direct mail to fit your brand identity. The standard mailer today is 6 x 9 inches, which gives you plenty of space for images and text. However, the USPS does offer choices when it comes to the size and shape of your mailers.

4. Direct Mail Is No Longer Relevant

With email marketing, social media, and other digital strategies, direct mail can get lost in the shuffle - but it shouldn’t. Not only is direct mail shown to have high open rates and stellar ROI, but it can actually stand out among a sea of marketing emails.

Consumers these days are often bombarded with email marketing campaigns. The average open rate for email marketing is around 21 percent, which means that consumers don’t even look at three-quarters of the email they’re getting. Because of this, direct mail can actually stand out. There’s still something exciting about going to your mailbox and seeing what’s inside. Direct mail capitalizes on this feeling. Since consumers don’t typically receive direct mail in large quantities, they are much more likely to open it and engage with it.

Don’t let these myths fool you - postal rates for direct mail are very reasonable, especially with USPS discounts. If you’re looking to incorporate direct mail into your marketing strategy, the Ironmark team is here to help. Schedule a chat with us today to get started!

Contact Our Direct Mail Team

Written by Scott Kravitz

As a graduate of RIT University and with over 25 years of experience, Scott Kravitz has been bringing his wealth of print knowledge to Ironmark since 2019. Kravitz manages Ironmark's sales representatives and provides alignment and communication between sales, marketing, clients, and production. With his charismatic personality and effective management skills, Kravitz leads strategic partnerships and increasing sales with new, emerging, and enterprise clients for Ironmark.

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