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Is Automotive Direct Mail Dead?

In a digital world, there’s an assumption that direct mail is ineffective and old fashioned. Surprisingly, this is not the case. More and more, we’re learning that when used strategically, direct mail cuts through digital noise, reaches a broader audience and resonates on a more personal level.

Over time, popular marketing channels evolve. They go in cycles like fashion. Growing up, I remember my household mailbox was full of flyers, coupons and invitational offers. Now, we get far less mail which can make receiving it a positive experience. Although direct mail VOLUME is declining, we’re actually seeing that open rates are improving. This is reflective of a change in demographics, but also because more people are working from home. Currently, 65% of Canadians “enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”

Indicating that many of us have become digitally fatigued and have a fondness for communication that’s tangible and tactile.

Another thing to consider, direct mail doesn’t have the anti-spam limitations of digital marketing. Making targeted, personalized and relevant pieces of direct mail an effective method to reach your audience. That being said, depending on your audience and the quality of your data, some communication methods may be more effective than others.

Which is why a multi-channel approach is ultimately the best way to attract the attention of loyal customers.

When we review automotive campaigns, we look for patterns in customer behaviour and have found there is still a place for direct mail. Throughout our campaigns, we hear of customers walking into dealerships with their direct mail letters. Occasionally, it’s an older demographic that’s less tech-savvy - but other times, it’s a younger customer in favour of communication that they can hold in their hand. The moral of the story is that excluding direct mail from your marketing strategy typically softens campaign results. If you’re seeking the most effective way to reach your customers - a combination of direct mail, email and text message reigns supreme. At Shift, we encourage this strategy, because the response speaks for itself.

October 19, 2022
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