Survey Reveals Increased Consumer Interest in Direct Mail, Other Traditional Media Channels

Submitted: Kathi Rowzie from Two Sides

A recent study released by R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, a leading global provider of marketing and business communications, reveals that traditional marketing channels, including word of mouth, direct mail, and in-store signage, are largely untapped by marketers. The study, based on surveys of both U.S. marketing professionals and consumers, uncovers significant differences between marketer assumptions and what consumers say actually influences their brand awareness and purchase decisions.

Among the findings, more than half (51%) of consumers were more excited to receive direct mail in the past year than they were in the year prior, with the highest levels among Gen Y (65%), Gen Z (57%), and Gen X (53%). Baby Boomers are least likely to be excited about receiving direct mail (36%). In-store, consumers show a preference for retailers who effectively use signage and displays, with a majority (58%) saying in-store signage is influential in their purchase decisions. While 67% of marketers made significant changes to their marketing strategies in the past year, the consumer data suggests that marketers should continue to fine-tune their efforts and consider re-investing in traditional marketing channels.

As marketers evaluate such reinvestment, they may also want to consider using their platforms to address widespread misconceptions about the environmental sustainability of direct mail and other paper-based channels. A recent study commissioned by Two Sides North America found that a majority of consumers (67%) believe that electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than print on paper, but the facts do not support this conclusion.

The miniaturization of today’s electronic devices and the “invisible” nature of digital infrastructure and cloud-based services cause many to vastly underestimate the environmental footprint of electronic communication. This footprint includes the environmentally intensive mining of finite raw materials like iron, copper, and rare earth minerals to produce electronic devices, massive amounts of mostly fossil fuel energy to manufacture and operate those devices and the server farms that support them, and an enormous and growing amount of e-waste, only 15% of which gets recycled.

In contrast, paper is an inherently sustainable product. Its primary raw material is an infinitely renewable resource – trees grown, harvested, and regrown in sustainably managed forests. It’s recycled more than any other material. And because paper manufacturing uses mostly renewable, carbon-neutral biomass energy, the U.S. pulp, and paper industry contributes only 0.5% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Does this information cause you to pause and rethink direct mail marketing?  Let’s talk about this.

Alexander Clark Printing is helping change business printing one ink spot at a time. 

Printed documents run business.  Words on a page communicate with your staff and customers. 

Alexander Clark can supply you with your promotional products, from pens to stress balls, from mugs to wrist bands.

When done right, direct mail marketing can work with your other channels, like digital marketing, to make your business stand out. 

 Printing on the envelope is your opportunity to add color, personality, and in some cases, life to your envelope. Which one you choose can depend on the kind of mailing you are doing, the size of your mailing and your budget.

 Alexander Clark Printing can manage your documents. Our technologies empower our clients, streamline processes, lower costs, improve service levels.