Direct Mail Marketing vs Digital Marketing! Are you compelled by the fact that consumers devote 108 seconds of their attention to a piece of direct mail (as revealed by JICMAIL)? If that intrigues you, then continue reading. This article delves into the reasons why incorporating direct mail marketing strategy can help you accomplish your business objectives, whether it’s boosting engagement rates, conversion, or retargeting lost customers. At the same time it is crucial to acknowledge that you should not underestimate the significance of your current digital marketing strategy. Striking the right balance between these two channels is paramount.


What is Traditional Direct Mail Marketing? 


Direct mail marketing refers to a strategy in which physical promotional materials are sent directly to potential customers via traditional mail services, such as letters, postcards, catalogues, or brochures. The goal of direct mail marketing is to reach a targeted audience and encourage them to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, requesting more information, or visiting a store. This can effectively establish a personal connection with the intended recipients. 

Study suggests that the Direct mail marketing remains a cornerstone of successful marketing and advertising strategies, offering a direct line to potential customers. Learn how to harness its power effectively with proven strategies and best practices. From targeting the right audience to crafting compelling messages, discover how to maximise ROI and drive tangible results for your business through direct mail campaigns. 


Direct Mail Marketing in 2024


In 2024, the landscape of marketing strategies continues to evolve, with direct mail marketing retaining its prominence alongside emerging digital mail approaches. Direct mail, a tangible form of marketing delivered physically to prospects’ mailboxes, remains a cornerstone investment for businesses, requiring meticulous attention to mailing lists to maximise its efficacy. Paperplanes, a leading UK-based mailing house, exemplifies expertise in direct mail marketing, catering to both domestic and international clients. This traditional method, though age-old, remains remarkably effective, offering a personalised touch that digital counterparts often struggle to replicate. With its unparalleled ability to target specific demographics and geographic regions, direct mail marketing stands out as one of the most measurable forms of advertising, enabling businesses to track responses and optimise campaigns through the use of vouchers or codes.

In the dynamic marketing landscape of 2024, the debate over the supremacy of direct mail versus digital mail marketing rages on. While digital strategies have garnered attention for their speed and accessibility, direct mail marketing emerges as a stalwart, complementing its digital counterparts with its unique tangible presence. Direct mail marketing represents a dynamic and versatile approach to reaching customers and prospects. Far from outdated, it continues to offer businesses a distinct advantage in delivering targeted, personalized messages that resonate with recipients on a profound level. Its integration with digital efforts further amplifies its effectiveness, fostering a holistic approach that maximises response rates and ROI. As businesses strive to navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape, direct mail marketing remains an indispensable tool, offering a timeless allure that resonates with audiences in a way that digital channels alone cannot replicate.


What Sets Paperplanes Apart?  We Offer Programmatically Driven Direct Mail!


At Paperplanes, our approach to direct mail marketing goes beyond the traditional methods. We use Programmatically Driven Direct Mailwhich uses technology to automate the process of selecting the target audience and creating personalised direct mail campaigns. By utilising data and algorithms, we determine the most suitable recipients for each campaign and generate personalised mailers automatically. This targeted and creative approach ensures that mail is sent to individuals who are most likely to respond and take action upon receiving it. 

Many traditional and digital marketing funnels cannot offer personalisation at scale however since every message we send out is crafted with pinpoint accuracy and is tailor-made, it will give any business the possibility to grow and skyrocket customer engagement. 

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Simplicity, Personalisation, Automation, and Sustainability


  • Simplicity

Integrating Paperplanes technology is a quick and simple process which enables us to collect insights which improve campaigns over time. Our methodology prioritises A/B testing as a means to enhance performance and seamlessly incorporates into your digital marketing strategy. 

In addition, after the campaign leaves the print partners facility we provide clear attribution analytics and performance measurement built on our vast experience working with customer insights and big data sources.


  • Personalisation

We do not send generic, one-size-fits-all mailings. Our collaborative approach is built on closely partnering with e-commerce brands to comprehend their customer strategy. Together, we devise well-structured campaigns that maximise the likelihood of success. Leveraging our software, we automatically integrate valuable web data into personalised letters (where we address the customer by name), incorporating tailored text, creatives, and promotions. This not only enhances visibility but also boosts engagement. With conversion rates surpassing digital alternatives by up to 20x (The Drum Marketing statistics), Paperplanes’ smart mail delivers exceptional results.

Furthermore, in a landscape where digital marketing channels have received substantial attention, direct mail presents a distinctive opportunity to make a significant impact, particularly on younger generations who are deeply immersed in the digital world and may place a higher value on receiving physical mail. In an era of less crowded mailboxes, direct mail emerges as a powerful tool to enhance brand recognition.

The numbers speak for themselves, as highlighted in a study conducted by BKM Marketing. The research reveals that Direct Mail has a remarkable staying power in households, with an average duration of 17 days. This extended presence indicates that Direct Mail is highly valued and often shared and explored by multiple family members.

Client testimonials can be found on our website under case studies, indicating that our approach is a winning formula and fosters strong brand loyalty. 


“We were looking for the right capability and channel to help us resurrect customers who had recently lapsed. Paperplanes integrated seamlessly with our integration tools, helping us learn best practices for reaching these customers. Paperplanes are a valuable partner for us to help aid our customer contact strategy.”

CRM Manager, Gousto   


  • Automation and Saving Time

Once set up, campaigns can run automatically without the need for manual intervention. Automation enables our clients to monitor the effectiveness of various triggers, conduct campaign testing and optimisation, and develop a deeper understanding of their audience’s preferences. These insights serve as a foundation for future marketing endeavours, facilitating ongoing improvement and refinement of strategies. 

Our automated direct mail approach streamlines workflows, improves efficiency, and enables marketers to execute targeted and personalised campaigns at scale.


  • Sustainability: Enhanced Relevance, Less Waste 

You may be under the impression that sending mail as a marketing strategy is an unsustainable concept, but, Paperplanes provides brands the opportunity to tailor messaging to specific individuals who meet certain criteria or exhibit specific behaviours such as abandoning their baskets or previous customers not purchasing for a while. This approach reduces waste and ensures that mailings are relevant and valuable to recipients. 


Our commitment to enhanced relevance and waste reduction is evident in our practices. By personalising interactions with our clients’ e-commerce websites and targeting the most suitable recipients for each campaign, we ensure highly relevant marketing. This approach eliminates mass mailing and promotes sustainability. Furthermore, we actively seek out printing partners like Go Inspire who advocate carbon neutral principles based on sustainable logistics solutions.



Digital Marketing allows access to your target market quickly, but is it always effective? 


Digital marketing encompasses the utilisation of online channels and technologies to advertise products, services, or brands. It encompasses various strategies like search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, display advertising, and mobile marketing. With digital marketing, businesses can reach a global audience. 

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The Pros of Digital Marketing 


Digital marketing is a highly effective marketing strategy due to several key reasons. It offers flexibility, allowing businesses to adapt their strategies based on market trends and consumer behaviour and compared to traditional marketing methods, digital often provides cost-effective options, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes.

Unparalleled reach is available, there are no geographical boundaries. As with direct mail, digital marketing enables precise targeting, ensuring that marketing messages reach the intended audience at the optimal moment. Businesses are also able to track and analyse campaign performance in real-time. 

Digital marketing seamlessly integrates with other online channels such as complementing social media marketing, email marketing and search engine optimization, enabling businesses to create a cohesive and integrated marketing approach.


Cons of Relying Solely on a Digital Marketing Strategy 

Whilst a digital marketing strategy continues to be one of the most popular marketing methods purely for its affordability and allowing smaller businesses to communicate directly with their target audience, when counting purely on digital marketing channels, you are less likely to stand out. Many companies are utilising the same strategy which increases competition. The saturation of digital marketing is a major drawback,  it can be challenging to capture the audience’s attention amidst the noise. 

Studies have shown that on average, only a small fraction of ad viewers actually click on the ad; 0.05% to 0.1% click-through rate (Acquisio, 2023). 

Moreover, the prevalence of online scams and fraudulent practices have made users more cautious about engaging with unfamiliar ads. 54% of users don’t trust the banner adverts they see (BannerSnack). Ad blockers have become popular due to the desire for uninterrupted browsing experiences and to combat digital fatigue among users. 

Therefore, a purely digital marketing strategy may not provide the comprehensive reach and engagement that a blended marketing approach incorporating both online and offline channels can offer.

Direct mail Marketing and Digital Marketing

Enhanced Brand Visibility and Recognition

Direct mail marketing, when integrated with digital strategies, can significantly enhance brand visibility and recognition. While digital marketing allows for quick dissemination of information, direct mail offers a tangible touchpoint that can leave a lasting impression on recipients. By combining the two, businesses can create a multi-dimensional brand experience that resonates with consumers on various levels. Consistent branding across both offline and online channels reinforces brand recognition and fosters trust and loyalty among customers.

Data Synergy for Targeted Campaigns

One of the key advantages of blending direct mail Marketing with digital marketing is the synergy of data. Digital marketing platforms provide extensive insights into consumer behaviour, preferences, and demographics. By leveraging this data alongside direct mail campaigns, businesses can create highly targeted and personalised mailers that resonate with specific audience segments. For instance, retargeting strategies can be employed to reach individuals who have previously interacted with the brand online but haven’t made a purchase. This data-driven approach enhances the effectiveness of direct mail marketing initiatives and maximises ROI.

Multi-Touchpoint Engagement

In today’s omnichannel landscape, consumers expect seamless experiences across various touchpoints. Integrating direct mail marketing with digital marketing enables businesses to create multi-touchpoint engagement strategies that guide prospects through the sales funnel. For example, a direct mail piece may serve as an initial touchpoint to pique interest, followed by targeted email campaigns or social media ads to nurture leads and drive conversions. By orchestrating cohesive interactions across both offline and online channels, businesses can increase engagement levels and drive customer action.

Improved Conversion Attribution

Attributing conversions accurately across different marketing channels can be challenging. However, by integrating direct mail marketing with digital tracking mechanisms such as unique URLs, QR codes, or personalised landing pages, businesses can gain valuable insights into the impact of their direct mail campaigns on online conversions. This improved attribution not only helps in measuring the effectiveness of direct mail marketing initiatives but also informs future marketing decisions and resource allocation strategies.

Building Emotional Connections

Direct mail Marketing has a unique ability to evoke emotional responses and foster meaningful connections with recipients. Unlike digital communications that often get lost in a sea of online content, physical mailers stand out and command attention. By incorporating elements of storytelling, personalization, and creativity, businesses can create memorable direct mail experiences that resonate with recipients on an emotional level. These emotional connections drive brand affinity and advocacy, ultimately leading to long-term customer relationships and increased lifetime value.

Extended Reach and Accessibility

Direct mail complements digital marketing by extending reach to demographics less accessible through online channels, including those with limited internet access or a preference for physical communications. By integrating direct mail, businesses ensure inclusivity, engaging audiences who may be less tech-savvy or prefer traditional communication methods. This approach maximises the potential customer base and fosters a sense of belonging among diverse demographics. Additionally, direct mail provides an opportunity to reach segments not easily reached through digital means, diversifying the brand’s audience and ensuring no potential customer segment is overlooked in marketing efforts.

An Integrated Approach 

In summary, direct mail marketing offers eCommerce companies opportunity for increased engagement, targeted messaging  driving website traffic, customer retention, complementing digital efforts, and trackable results. It serves as a valuable marketing channel to connect with customers and drive growth for e-commerce businesses.

Direct mail can work harmoniously with digital marketing channels to achieve optimal results. By incorporating trackable links and QR codes, you can drive recipients to specific landing pages, websites, or online promotions. This integration allows for a seamless transition between physical mail and digital engagement. For example, we can send a direct mail piece to introduce a new product or promotion and you can follow up with targeted digital ads or email campaigns to reinforce the message.

Do you want to drive your business to success? To find out more about how we can help you, reach out to us on the Contact icon or email


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