Marketers try to measure customer response to direct mail through personalized URLs and coupon codes, but there’s no guarantee customers will visit websites from a specific URL or buy products using a specific code. O’Keefe says that consumers will often receive a piece of mail, get inspired and Google the product they want to buy. The difficulty of attributing conversions may be a reason why the pendulum has swung toward digital, O’Keefe says.
While Chaffey advocates for integrated marketing campaigns that combine digital and traditional marketing in order to achieve successful digital campaign, Cordon advises that you strategize; research your target audience to ensure that your campaign will appeal to their interests and preferences, try out a form of digital marketing and pay attention to the results you get out of it, use that information to help you decide how you will proceed with your digital campaign. Since digital marketing will ultimately reach a wider range of people, you want to make sure that your brand will appeal to the type of audience you envision for your company.
Neil O’Keefe, senior vice president of marketing and content at the Data & Marketing Association, says that marketers began questioning direct mail’s endurance in 2007. That year, Statista reports that smartphone sales jumped 70% from the previous year to $8.7 billion. At the same time, the volume of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service began to plummet: In 2006, people in the U.S. sent 213.1 billion pieces of mail, according to USPS; by 2017, they were sending 149.5 billion pieces each year, a 29.9% decline. By this point, smartphone sales had reached $55.6 billion. The price of postage and paper had skyrocketed, as did the number of internet users—everything seemed to hammer a nail into direct mail’s coffin.