How Direct Mail Plays a Vital Role in Customer Relationship Management

With an increase in options for consumers in many industries and inflation on the rise, customer relationship management matters more than ever. Direct mail can play a profitable role in your CRM strategy and excels versus digital strategies in several compelling ways.


At the top of the list is performance. Direct mail produces larger sales pipelines and higher conversions compared to other marketing channels. Direct mail has the highest response rate of any channel across all industries and demographic groups. This is compounded by having the highest brand recall as well as reading time and product retention. 76% of people trust ads they receive in the mail. Direct mail helps cut through the endless email clutter consumers are constantly bombarded with. The average person receives 121 emails per day. With so much competition and noise online, rising to the top of someone’s spam folder can be a tall order. On the other hand, 4 in 10 people report that they actually enjoy checking their physical mailbox. There is a deeper emotional connection to checking the mail—it has an element of surprise and can grab consumers’ attention far easier than a marketing email. We know this is true because we see this in our own behavior. When is the last time anyone was excited to open up an email? Did you show that email to a family member? Did the digital ad make it your fridge, counter, or desk? We cannot ignore the highest-performing marketing channel when it comes to customer communication. We need to maximize it.

Generational connection

Millennials are a key target demographic for many industries as they reach their peak earning and saving years. Direct mail connects with the aging millennial population better than any other demographic segment.  Not only that, but they are the most adept at ignoring digital ads. In the chart below we see millennials engaging with direct mail at all measurements better than any other generational group.

Direct mail application

Limiting direct mail to a marketing or accounting function limits the potential of the channel. Top companies are using direct mail to create engagement and retention during the customer lifecycle. They engage with their customers using CRM triggers to send emails every day. With new integrations, direct mail can function in the same way, providing the ability to send mail at key points in the lifecycle of every customer. This can create product cross-sell opportunities expanding share of wallet and customer retention.

To leverage direct mail in your customer management cycle you should develop four capabilities:

  1. Data

Developing the ability to have rich data-driven insights that create both prime targets and compelling events. A top print partner can help you create this ability or you can build this as an internal function. Whichever direction you choose, you still need to find a print partner that can digest the data and execute.

  • Operation

The right partner will have a strong operational capability allowing you to have the best price point with the strongest compliance available. Never forget to evaluate postage blended rates. A top print partner will help you focus on that savings.

  • In-home dates

This sounds simple, but you need the capability to achieve a specific target in-home date. Knowing when a message will be delivered creates cross-channel opportunities.

  • Measure

Always measure and adjust. Before you spend money on any channel make sure you know how to measure the results. Again, you can build this as an internal or external capability.

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