Direct mail will continue to be popular in 2019

2019 is just around the corner and predictions and trends are in full swing. While digital transformation has marked these last few years for businesses, the digital transition is going to continue and find its cruising speed. Artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, big data, cloud, augmented reality . . . What will 2019 bring?

Although all of these promising technologies will definitely make great strides, some traditional technologies won’t necessarily disappear. Consider direct mail, for example: all businesses are still using it. B2B and B2C consumers continue to receive paper mail, print ads and catalogues, both at home and at work. Why are we still so attached to direct mail and print in general? Here are some possible explanations.

Paper continues to thrive

Our love of paper appears to be unchallenged and is not about to go away. A Two Sides survey conducted by research firm Toluna is proof. This US/UK survey revealed that 81% of respondents prefer to read print on paper when given the choice. This number dropped to 39% for screens and 22% for mobiles or smartphones.

The survey showed that 71% are more relaxed and receptive when reading a newspaper in print. In fact, 64% pay more attention to advertising when reading magazines in print, compared to 26% for online magazines.

Further, 84% understand or retain information better when they read print on paper. This observation is significant if you want your materials to stand out in the ocean of information consumers are swimming in!

Slight differences between age groups

Discrepancies were observed, however, when comparing age groups. While it’s been proven that children remember more details when reading a story on paper rather than an e-book, the trend reverses in adulthood. It appears that younger groups are more comfortable with screen-reading than the 45-and-older age groups. That’s not surprising knowing the digital environment millennials have grown up in.

Transactional documents still preferred on paper

Again, it seems that paper and direct mail are especially popular when it comes to transactional documents and invoices. Sixty percent of European citizens are prepared take their business elsewhere if a company does not make paper invoices available (Keep Me Posted EU, 2014).

Toluna found that 44% to 57% of respondents prefer paper invoices over email, be it for their personal finances or their TV and telecommunications bills. Once again, the 45+ age group has an even greater preference for paper invoices.

It looks like direct mail will continue to be one of the favourite means of communication in 2019. But it brings some inherent challenges to the digital environment: Did the mail arrive at the destination? Was it opened? Will it result in more traffic on the sender’s website? That is why the ideal solution is a mix of two communication methods, in order to provide the best customer experience possible while maintaining control of the traceability of digital communications.

Are you interested in this solution that combines digital and paper? At Objectif Lune, we help businesses diversify their communication channels, without overhauling their systems. Don’t hesitate to ask for a free consultation with one of our advisors!