Industry knowledge, creative trends, and the latest technologies.

Direct Mail: An Anchor in the Digital Storm

A digital storm has taken over the world of marketing, with strong waves of technology and a battering of information leaving some marketers lost at sea.

What’s strong enough to keep us all from drifting away? An anchor, and that anchor is direct mail.

I don’t know about you, but my email inbox is out of control. I see so many digital ads in one day, they’ve just become background noise. Getting a relevant piece of mail is always a breath of fresh air. I actually take the time to look at it, because no other marketing channel compares to its personal, tangible experience.

And that’s not just my opinion, industry stats confirm:

  • 76% of people trust mail over online marketing information. 1
  • Direct mail has the highest response rate at 5.1% above email, social media, and online display ads.2

Direct Mail is Holding Fast

Direct mail has anchored itself in the digital storm by harnessing technology, and its success has been proven in many ways:

  • Targeting – Response rates are better than ever because marketers can pinpoint the exact audience they should mail to. From geographic to demographic information, mail campaigns reach the right hands with less waste than the old “spray and pray” method.
  • Personalization – I love receiving mail that speaks to me with offers I can’t resist. That feeling is a result of personalization at work. Personalization has proven time and time again to increase response rates. These days, anything from age, gender, imagery, and past donation history are used to create the perfect mail piece for each individual.
  • Multi-Channel Integration – You can’t remember an advertisement if you’ve only seen it once. That’s why 72% of marketers are prioritizing cross-channel integration.3 Combining direct mail and digital helps create that cohesive customer experience we strive for. A great example is Augmented Reality. Recipients can scan parts of a mail piece with their smart devices, rendering graphics for virtual interaction.
  • Trackable Results – No one gets away with good marketing without analytics, which is why 61% of marketers use personalized online tracking tools like URLs and QR codes.2 These tools help with attribution in a multi-channel strategy. The USPS has developed platforms to easily communicate mail status to the marketer through Informed Visibility and the customer through Informed Delivery. They’re some of the newer tools in the marketer’s tool box—stay tuned for more on how this technology will make waves in the future!

Polaris: A Guiding Light

Direct mail has held fast with technology and Polaris Direct has, too.

  • With IP targeting technology, the future of audience targeting is here. Through strategic partnerships, Polaris provides IP targeting solutions aimed at integrating digital ads with targeted mailing campaigns.
  • We offer the ultimate bridge between online and offline marketing with Postalink. It simplifies the management of multi-channel marketing with mail tracking, online ad follow-up, and call tracking.

Polaris has helped our clients navigate the world of marketing and direct mail. Much like our namesake, the North Star, we can be your guiding light for direct marketing solutions that help you weather the digital storm!


1 MarketingSherpa
2 Data & Marketing Association Response Rate Report 2017
3 Data & Marketing Association 2017 Statistical Fact Book



About the author: Emily Masse is an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Business with a focus in Marketing. She writes for the UNH chapter of, the #1 new-media global community for college women. Emily is also a Strategic Marketing Services intern for Polaris Direct, a nationally acclaimed high-volume direct marketing services company in Hooksett, NH.

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