Contrary to popular belief, direct mail is still a relevant and effective way to reach potential bank customers.

In fact, direct mail may actually give your bank a leg up on the competition, as other institutions are lured to digital avenues promising “quick and easy” marketing. But those promises and assertions are built on myths. The data show that direct mail continues to produce some of the best marketing returns on investments for banks. It’s time for banks to market smarter, not harder.

Myth 1: Millennials Only Do Digital
One particularly prevalent direct mail myth is that millennials only respond to online and mobile communications. While millennials may be extensive mobile users, mail is still important to them. Lending Science indicates 84% of millennials look through their mail, with 64% preferring to scan physical mail over its digital cousin for useful information. And don’t discount the youngest generation: an impressive 83% of the iGeneration report that they “love getting stuff in the mail.”

Myth 2: No One Reads the Mail Anymore
Another myth is the belief that prospects don’t read and respond to mail anymore. The data show that’s not true. According to the United States Postal Service, 98% of people check their mail daily and 77% sort through it as soon as they get it. That provides a huge opportunity for brand awareness that many banks miss out on; your bank doesn’t have to be one of them.

Myth 3: Direct Mail Is Too Expensive
While the cost of direct mail may be higher than sending an email, the ROI of sending direct mail is exponentially higher. The Online Marketing Institute has revealed that direct mail has a lower cost per lead than any other channel and a conversion rate of 4.4% – meaning your direct mail dollars go farther. In fact, direct mail outperforms all digital channels by nearly 600% combined. Spend your limited marketing dollars wisely: where they count most.

Myth 4: Direct Mail Isn’t Engaging
In an age of online content from videos to visual ads, there is an attitude that direct mail doesn’t successfully engage modern consumers. Data from Marketing Sherpa suggests this isn’t true: 76% of consumers trust direct mail when making a purchase decision. Direct mail is excellent for building consumer trust. Consistency is key. Define your audience, then build a direct mail program designed to produce results.

There’s no sure bet in marketing. But with the right campaign, the right targeting, the right creative campaigns, and the right partner, direct mail campaigns can and should be an integral part of the banking industry’s outreach to their customers.

If you’re ready to mail smarter, not harder, you can download our free e-book, “Driving with Data: Direct vs. Digital, the Role of Direct Mail in a Digital World.” Franklin Madison can help your bank achieve above-average response rates, drive higher customer loyalty and add non-interest income to your bottom lines.


Andrea Heger