Is Direct Mail Dead?

is direct mail dead

One of the most common questions we hear:

Does direct mail still work?

I’ll admit, that’s a fair question.

With the internet at our fingertips, you might be wondering if direct mail even has a place in marketing anymore – now that Facebook & Google seem to control everything.

But here’s the truth:

Direct mail is NOT dead.

Direct mail is actually getting MORE response from consumers than any other marketing method — including online ads and email, even though it may seem like an ancient form of marketing.

Here’s what I mean:

People are overwhelmed with digital marketing now more than ever.

Digital marketing studies suggest that consumers may see anywhere from 4,000 to possibly 10,000 ads every day.

Consider these statistics:

Consumers are utterly overwhelmed. There is just so much noise out there. And since we are constantly on some form of the internet, most of that noise comes from digital marketing.

overwhelmed with digital marketing

want you to succeed in marketing and growing your business, so you need to know this:

Direct mail is more powerful now than ever before because it stands apart from the outpouring of online communication that we interact with daily. I found some surprising statistics on marketing (that I’ll share below), and what they lead to is this:

You HAVE to include direct mail in your strategy in addition to digital marketing strategies.

It’s not one OR the other. 

You need both direct mail and digital to work together to market your business so that: it’s seen enough… by enough people, and you get a steady stream of leads.

If you’ve ever thought that direct mail isn’t right for your business marketing strategy, consider these statistics:

1. 70% of consumers feel more valued with direct mail 

According to research in 2007, 43% of people said that they felt more valued by companies who use direct mail.

This figure rose to 57% in 2013, and then to 70% in 2017!

That’s a 62.7% increase in 10 years!


Again, people are overwhelmed with digital marketing. But when you send direct mail, the communication is more like this:

“You are important to our business and we care enough about you to spend money on ink, paper, and postage!”

happy customer

Your prospects are more likely to hang onto a direct mail piece, especially when they see a special offer that seems like a steal.

Like this one:

Do you see the special offer?

Who doesn’t want a free dinner?

I don’t know about you, but it’s remarkably easy for me to click “archive” on an email I’m not compelled to read.

Especially when my inbox is already flooding with emails, both desired and undesired.


Prospects feel valued when you send a postcard or magazine.

You automatically stand out from the businesses out there that are aimlessly posting promotions day in and day out.

Which brings me to my next point.

2. Direct mail has a 783% better response rate than email for customer lists

Year after year, the response rates for direct mail just keep climbing.

Direct mail’s response rate for 2016 is 43% higher than it was in 2015!

Furthermore, the response rate for direct mail puts email marketing to shame.

Email generates a .6% response rate for customer lists and only .3% for new prospects, according to the 2016 Data & Marketing Association Report.

Here are direct mail’s response rates:

  • 6% response rate for customer lists
  • 3% response rate for new prospects

Email marketing is not the best way to generate new leads for your business.

Whenever I attend a conference, I like to ask how people like getting emails from businesses that they don’t know.

ZERO people. That’s how many. 

Sending emails to new prospects will not only get people hitting “unsubscribe,” but it will also make your prospects generally irritated with your business… And that’s not the impression you want with your marketing.

But I will say this:

Digital marketing is a fabulous follow-up tool.

Once you’ve acquired a lead (say they get your magazine or postcard, then visit your website and you capture their IP — this is a genuinely interested lead), you can use retargeting ads to continue to follow up with them (affordably) until they are ready to buy or sell.

This steady communication and repeated follow-up will remind prospects who you are.

So when they’re ready to buy or sell, they’ll remember you!

Your business NEEDS consistent follow-up to close more sales, period.

3. Email has experienced a 65% decrease in CTR 

Click-through rates are determined by how many people open your email, and how many of those people click on some form of content within your email.

But here’s the deal:

Anyone can blast an email to you, whether it’s welcomed or not. It’s no surprise that click-through rates have decreased by 65%.

Which makes sense – considering that 88% of the email sent in 2016 was for marketing purposes only!

People don’t appreciate having their inbox overrun and taken over by promotions and marketing. People are starting to avoid their email inbox!

How many people do you know with an inbox full of 31,286 emails?

And they say, “I don’t even want to look.”

That’s because more and more people consider their inbox to be a red zone of nothing but junk!

Consumers today want the communication that they receive to be relevant to their needs and wants. They also want these emails to come from a business that they know, like, and trust with their email address.

So as giant brokerages continue to trumpet their message into inboxes, you have a massive opportunity as a small business owner.

Utilizing direct mail in your marketing strategy will certainly make you stand out.

Additionally, with direct mail, you can personalize every postcard or magazine with your prospect’s first name — making your direct mail campaign jump out of the mail stack immediately.

You can even make your campaigns fun to receive. For example — include word searches, local events, and even contests!

If you are communicating your message consistently to the same audience (we recommend at least every month or every other month), your business will NOT be drowned out by your competition, and you’re more likely to be seen and remembered.

But remember:

I am in no way trying to minimize the importance of digital marketing — I’m saying that you do need to market your business online… But you cannot ignore direct mail in place of digital marketing because:

  • Direct mail is more likely to generate a response
  • Customers trust direct mail more
  • Thus, they will trust your business more!

And… people buy from businesses they like and trust. 

We have recognized the need for real estate agents to market across multiple channels, but we also realized that this can get overwhelming.

That’s why we created a simple solution to help make your marketing easier.

It’s an all-in-one, automated marketing program that puts your message in front of the right prospects on the most effective marketing channels.

We named this program TNC Wired.

It puts your business EVERYWHERE it needs to be to get your marketing message seen. 

Here’s how it works:

We help you identify and map out your exclusive mailing area.

We plan a direct mail campaign for you based on your location and budget.

Once you approve the plan, we design, print and mail your magazine or postcard for you.

Then we get to work on the online marketing phase of your campaign.

We design and run online ads that MATCH your direct mail campaign on Google’s vast network of websites, which greatly amplifies the reach and the impression your message makes.

AND then:

We design and run Facebook and Instagram ads for you that coordinate with your Google ads AND postcards, amplifying your reach even further!

Your business will seem like it’s EVERYWHERE!

Everything is coordinated to match (design, special offer) so that your brand and message are consistent, making you easy to remember.

We even provide an online dashboard for you to track the following:

  • The date your campaign hits mailboxes
  • How many people call your business from your marketing (via a special phone number) — AND we record these calls so you can check in on your sales processes and improve them
  • How many people click on your Google, Instagram AND Facebook ads
  • The number of people who get shown your online ads (aka impressions)

You don’t lift a finger.

And your business’s marketing message gets seen here:

  • At home, when they’re relaxed and ready to go through their mail
  • On countless websites (including some huge websites that would surprise you!)
  • On Facebook, the world’s fastest-growing social network
  • And on Instagram!

The best part?

It’s COMPLIMENTARY to your direct mail campaign!

I wanted to make this program easy and affordable for real estate agents because helping YOU grow and expand is my passion.

If you need any help with your marketing, don’t hesitate to call one of our marketing consultants at (866) 894-4912. They’ll answer any questions you have about our marketing and explain TNC Wired to you further if wanted.

Check out some of our case studies from agents just like you!

Danielle Repasky

Danielle Repasky

Dani is a passionate, cross-functional, creative, and results-driven marketing and design professional with over 8 years of experience across multiple platforms including websites, email, mobile applications, and web applications. She is a firm believer that data should drive decisions, but with creativity to support it.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Subscribe for valuable information on industry trends and innovations in real estate marketing.

32-Page Digest Magazine

Get A PDF Sample Of Our 32-Page Digest-Size Magazine Sent Directly To Your Inbox!

16-Page Custom Magazine

Get a PDF sample of our 16-page large-format magazine sent directly to your inbox!