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RIP direct mail marketing?

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Friday May 22, 2009 )

The writing is on the wall for direct mail marketing (hallelujah); but the future of email marketing is looking even rosier as a result.

According to a Borrell Associates Inc. report entitled “Direct Mail Falls, Email Soars”, the Internet is about to claim yet another medium – direct mail; the junk snail mail that’s directly addressed to us.

Borrell is predicting a massive 39 percent decline in the next 4 years, from $49.7 billion in 2008 to $29.8 billion by the end of 2013. Should this eventuate, direct mail will fall from being the no.1 channel for ad revenue to no. 4, lagging behind the Internet, broadcast TV and newspapers. Still, I guess a nearly $30 billion industry is not inconsequential, but no doubt there will be many casualties in the years ahead.

In 2008, email advertising crept up to the No. 1 online ad category spot and advertisers spent $12.1 billion last year on email marketing. Borrell predicts email marketing will widen its lead on other online advertising formats over the next five years, growing to $15.7 billion.

Many of those involved with direct mail advertising should learn from the experience of newspapers and perhaps make a switch, downsize or diversify pretty darned soon. Email marketing service providers need to position themselves to take advantage of an influx of new business.

Trees of the world, rejoice!

Next step – the other junk mail that arrives in our snail mail boxes? – might we possibly see that die off considerably? I’m wondering if that’s been heavily impacted by the increasing popularity of email marketing. I’d forgotten just how much of it flies around until recently when we moved house and the new place had a mailbox out front. I’d love to rip the damned thing out as it’s simply a tree graveyard.


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