A Veteran Marketers’ View on the State of Play of Direct Mail in the U.S.


Pegg Nadler, U.S. Direct Marketer of the Year (2009) and Founder of Pegg Nadler Associates knows the ins and outs of mail marketing. With a career spanning three decades in the direct marketing environment in the U.S., she may very well have a few tricks up her sleeve to share with her fellow Australian marketers. “We now look at mail as a mature channel, but mature doesn’t mean dead,” Nadler points out.

Despite its old age, mail is still alive and kicking. She says “mail is predicted to spike in the US this year” and that “the situation will continue because the channel stills works”. In this day and age, this traditional communication tool is more effective when used in combination with supporting channels such as email, web, mobile and print. “Mail doesn’t work as a stand-alone medium anymore,” she notes.

It’s no secret that the U.S. economy took a major hit from the great recession a few years ago.  As a result many marketers turned away from mail and moved onto to other channels, particularly email as it’s perceived as being cheap and virtually free. “The fascinating thing is this, as American companies are blasting inboxes, people are becoming worryingly immune to the emails that are coming through,” she explains. Unsurprisingly, the excessive use of email is causing huge amount of problems in the U.S., and unfortunately for most it’s not showing the best return on investment either.

Marketers turning to email thinking it were going to be an easy way out have been proved wrong. She says “the irony of it all is that mail on the other hand is becoming increasingly noticed by its recipients” and that “interestingly it has turned out to be a very successful part of the marketing mix”. Despite of the decline in open rates, the medium is still predicted to be part of the big marketing spend, followed closely by mail this year. “In the U.S. the combination of email and mail is currently experiencing a surge in interest,” she notes.

In an era where people’s attention spans are getting shorter by the day, marketers are forced to continuously look for new ways to tweak and improve their strategies. Industry professionals are now realising that they must rethink their plan of attack in order to get through to their audiences. She says “taking advantage of the myriad of technologies available and Personalised URL’s (PURLs) is the key to mailing smarter” and that “getting a good grip on who your customers are and understanding them at an individual level is equally important”.

Sound professional advice from this accomplished veteran marketer may very well be worth its weight in gold. “The secret to success with any campaign lies with the ability to get the right message, to the right person, at the right time,” she exclaims.

Pegg Nadler will be presenting “Exploring why direct mail is still important in a digital world” at ADMA’s Integrated Mail Marketing Seminar in Brisbane (22 March), Melbourne (29 March), and Sydney (27 March). Pegg will also be presenting in Perth (4 April) at the upcoming Perth Sundowner. Click to register for the Integrated Mail Marketing Seminar or the Perth Sundowner.

This article was written by ADMA’s Event Program Manager, Linda Hausken.


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