Is Direct Mail Dead?


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For anyone keeping their finger on the pulse of the commercial real estate marketing space, you’ve probably heard the question – “is direct mail dead?”

What is Direct Mail?

Direct mail is a marketing tactic used to engage past, current or potential clients through a physical piece of mail. This is often in the form of a postcard or letter but can be a flyer, a small gift or a catalog.

Direct mail applies to any physical object sent through the mail with the intention of marketing your services to a specific target audience. It’s likely you’re already using it in your own marketing strategy.

How the Online Space is Changing Direct Mail

Most everything you do in your everyday life has gone digital in one way or another. Even your kids’ schools, your local church and your mom-and-pop hardware store likely have a Facebook business page. It’s rare to engage with a business, or even a person, without any kind of online presence.

Does that mean that consumers are ignoring direct mail? Not necessarily. There has been a significant reduction in the response rate for direct mail over the last ten years, but it’s still a relevant marketing channel when compared to the open rate of e-mails. The problem with the digital space when it comes to e-mail is that the space is overwhelming crowded and consumers are beginning to block it out.

Direct Mail is on a Downward Trend

Although direct mail has maintained momentum a bit longer than experts had thought it would, there are a number of reasons why we think it won’t be around forever.

The younger, and in some cases older, generation of consumers are becoming more conscious of their carbon footprint and direct mail doesn’t support that mindset. Secondly, tailoring content specific to your audience can be more challenging when you’re producing mass mailers. Through digital you can have dozens of campaigns for all your different types of customers and their unique preferences.

How to Stand Out in a Crowded Space

So, if people aren’t responding to e-mail marketing the way they used to – how do you stand out? Should you be upping your direct mail game? Is it time to give up your digital channels?

While people may still be responding more frequently to direct mail than to e-mail, this absolutely does not discredit the value of digital marketing. In fact, it points commercial real estate professionals in the direction of more strategic digital marketing efforts.

Consumers are much savvier when it comes to blocking out the advertising noise. They are looking for proven experts with positive reviews and testimonials. As your potential clients begin to ignore advertising, you need to position yourself as a thought leader in the commercial real estate market by providing expert insights and valuable free content.

The Best Kind of Free Content

Your future customers will be looking to social media and the web to understand your online presence and how you can provide value to them. What does your online presence say about you? Do you have a distinct voice? Are you providing value the majority of the time, without asking for anything in return?

Through blogs, articles and social media content you’ll be passively advertising to your target market who will begin to see you as an expert in the commercial real estate space. And with your expertise, clients will be flocking to work with someone like you that they can trust to meet and exceed all their commercial real estate needs.

Need help with your social media strategy? Contact to learn more. We manage some of the BIGGEST brand’s social media in CRE and more importantly WE GET RESULTS.


Lauren Leal1 Comment