Fashionistas know the drill: what’s out of fashion has a way of roaring back when conditions change. Today we’re seeing a similar resurgence in direct mail—a medium that had been written off prematurely as a relic. Not anymore.

A decade ago, digital marketing, a then-emerging alternative for reaching massive numbers of inboxes, started attracting attention and dollars. It quickly supplanted direct mail (DM) as the medium of choice for targeted marketing—largely because digital seemed so cheap.

But as we’re seeing now, marketers get what they pay for. It’s not inboxes marketers want, it’s flesh-and-blood prospects. It’s buyers. And digital isn’t cutting it.

Despite its lower cost relative to DM, digital suffers from the same technologies that made it so popular: increasingly sophisticated ad blockers and spam filters. These factors place the consumer in charge of message delivery. With digital, your message often doesn’t even get seen, much less delivered or read.

Add to that the sheer ubiquity of the medium, and the unreliability of digital data records, and it’s easy to see why digital, despite its low cost, is seen as low-value.

Meanwhile, direct mail thrives.

As marketers focus more on value than cost, on quality over quantity, DM is surging again. According to the 2017 DMA Statistical Fact Book, the rate at which consumers responded to DM rose by 43% over the previous year. For prospects, the response rate rose by 190%.

One of DM’s core strengths is that consumers can’t avoid contact with it. It’s a tangible medium, which counts for a lot. Studies have shown DM’s physicality increases the consumer’s levels of engagement, comprehension, and retention. We connect with the mail on a more primal level than with the inbox on our screens.

With advanced data analytics, it’s also possible to bring laser-focused targeting to any DM campaign. So the added costs of printing and mailing are far outweighed by increases in efficiency and effectiveness. In the end, it’s a cost vs. value equation: DM gives marketers greater value and better ROI.

Creative Solutions: A full-spectrum solution

At Creative Solutions, we never took our eyes off the ball. We just kept refining our swing. As DM regains its allure for marketers, we’re positioned to help you make the most of this powerful re-emerging medium.

We do DM that leverages technology from concept to completion, to maximize our clients’ ROI and value. That means we obsess over data-driven strategy and planning before we even start designing creative. Our creative team takes a disciplined approach to target segmentation, leveraging known behavioral drivers and the relevance of alternative offers. So each piece stands a better chance of getting noticed, opened and acted on.

Our targeting and list management teams make sure your piece gets into the hands of your prospects; meanwhile our production management pros have the knowledge to get the piece printed and distributed efficiently, with a focus on quality and value—not just cost. And in the end, our analytics and analysis teams measure, recalibrate and fine-tune every campaign to identify and leverage new learnings.

It’s a formula that has always performed well for us and our clients—when DM was popular and when it fell briefly out of favor. That’s especially true today, as marketers rediscover the advantages of the medium. Interested in learning more? Call us at 302-543-8533 or email us for a free consultation.


  1. DMA Response Rate Report
  2. USPS
  3. Merkle
  4. Above the Fold Magazine