Is Direct Mail Advertising Still Effective for B2B in 2022?

Jaycen Thorgeirson
Founder & Chief Storyteller
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I don’t know about you, but I love receiving a package in the mail. I also adore the feeling of getting a letter (so long as it’s not a bill or something completely irrelevant)

The digital revolution has changed a lot about how we absorb media and advertising. But some things don’t change… like the excitement of opening a package. 

That excitement can be leveraged as a superpower in direct mail advertising. And with a bit of effort and forethought, it can produce huge ROI. 

Let’s talk about what exactly direct mail advertising is, and then look at the stats to see how successful direct mail advertising is for B2B. After that, we’ll share our top three best practices that are absolutely essential for a successful direct mail advertising campaign. 

What is direct mail advertising?

Before we decide whether or not direct mail advertising is effective, let’s make sure we both know exactly what we’re talking about by defining the term. 

Direct Mail Advertising is a marketing strategy where you send direct mail or gifts directly to prospects to get them to take some sort of action or to improve your brand awareness. 

Direct mail advertising is characterized by two main factors:

  • Physicality: your prospect receives a physical item, whether that’s paper or a dimensional package.
  • Specific targeting: by the nature of mail, you need to select your recipients in advance, using demographic and geographic information.

These two factors make direct mail advertising a very different option than digital marketing. Direct mail advertising is typically a more expensive option than digital marketing, but has been shown to have a larger ROI. 

Is direct mail advertising still effective for B2B in 2022?

Now, let’s answer the big question at hand: is direct mail advertising effective for B2B?

We’ve seen it work for our clients, but let’s see what other surveys have found.

  • 67% of mail recipients say that mail is more personal than the internet (USPS)
  • 80% of millennials pay attention to physical mail, while 50% ignore digital ads (The Shopping Shift)
  • 41% of Americans look forward to checking their mail each day (Gallup)
  • 4.4% average response rate for direct mail compared to email’s 0.12% (Data & Marketing Association)

In brief, direct mail is more likely to be perceived positively by your audience, as well as have more of an emotional impact. It’s also much more likely to get a response than an email campaign or any other purely digital marketing strategy.

Best practices for direct mail advertising

Next week, we’ll share a more detailed description of how to build your direct mail advertising campaign. But first, we’d like to tell you three best practices that can make or break your campaign. 

When using direct mail advertising, always get personal, stay relevant, and remember: it’s not just brochures anymore!

Get personal

What’s the difference between a letter you open and one that goes straight to the trash can? You probably ask, “Is this really for me, or is it spam?” 

When you send direct mail, you need to make it feel like it was meant for your prospect. If you can, they will open and read it. If you don’t, even the cleverest or most expensive mailer will go in the physical version of the spam folder: the trash can.

So, how do you make your direct mail campaign personal? Make sure you do your research. Fake-personal tactics, like inserting the first name into a form letter, aren’t as effective as they used to be. Research your prospects, and use that information to personalize your campaign. 

Learn more about getting personal. 

Stay relevant

There’s only so many hours in a day. B2B decision makers are especially aware of this fact, and they do not waste time on mail that won’t solve their problems or help their company. 

If you want to capture your prospect’s attention, and keep it long enough to influence them, everything about your mailer has to be relevant to their needs.

Solve their problem, and do it quickly. 

Learn more about staying relevant.

It’s not just brochures anymore

In our direct mail fundraising campaigns, we’ve noticed that the best campaigns aren’t just paper, and they aren’t just a video online. The best direct mail campaigns are multimedia, linking digital and physical elements for a remarkable experience. 

AccuData, an integrated marketing solution, found that campaigns incorporating both direct mail and at least one digital element showed an 118% increase in response rate. Our experience has borne this out as well. 

As you explore your direct mail fundraising strategy, keep in mind that you’re not restricted to the one-page flyer or thin brochure that usually gets tossed out with the grocery store coupons. 

Check out these examples of multimedia campaigns.

How to design a direct mail advertising campaign

Next week, we’ll share with you our steps for designing a remarkable direct mail advertising campaign. While these types of campaigns leave plenty of room for creativity, we’ve found certain consistencies that improve ROI in every campaign. 

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about direct marketing, check out these articles.

We have to admit, direct mail is our jam. In one campaign, we even took that literally. 

We love talking about direct mail almost as much as we love designing the campaigns, so we share lessons on direct mail and other forms of effective marketing every week. Subscribe below so you never miss out!

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