Study Shows Online Retailers Still Finding Huge Success Utilizing Direct Mail Macromark 2014-07-15 07:22:16 Our Blog

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    Study Shows Online Retailers Still Finding Huge Success Utilizing Direct Mail

    Jun 11 | By:  Categories: Our Blog

    It says a lot about direct mail marketing that it has not only survived, but continues to thrive through the advent of the digital age. With smartphones and iPads giving consumers instantaneous access to relevant content, one would think direct mail marketing is a fading industry incapable of keeping up with the times.

    But it’s been quite the opposite, according to the experts at Macromark. Direct mail marketing has not only stood on its own as an effective means of engaging consumers, but it’s also been able to mesh with other forms of current marketing trends to form joint marketing ventures that yield improved returns. The Wall Street Journal recently did a report on how the use of catalogues has made a resurgence, having major impacts on the success of online retailers.

    Major companies like William Sonoma Inc., which is a parent company to seven brands, spends over half its marketing budget on mailing and the production of catalogues. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, 2013 was the first time in years that there has been an increase in the amount of catalogues mailed, estimated at 11.9 billion copies. It should be stated, however, that catalogues now have adjusted their content from years past, opting for more visuals and less written details, and assuming the customer will visit the web site if their interests are piqued enough to desire any further information. Catalogues are also a lot less bulky and easier to flip through than their predecessors.

    Bonobos, primarily an online retailer specializing in better fitting men’s pants, ran a test direct mail campaign about a year ago that was targeted to a small number of consumers; the initial tests were successful enough for them to increase the circulation. Now, roughly 20% of first-time customers place their order after receiving a catalogue. And not only that, but first-time customers that receive a catalogue also spend more money than new shoppers who did not receive any mailed catalogue.

    Note that executing a direct mail campaign using catalogues as the vehicle does take more time to plan. Photo shoots and designs usually have to be completed months in advance, but according to one retail marketing consulting firm, catalogues cost less than a dollar to produce and each yield a return of approximately $4.00. In addition, the head of marketing at U.K.-based clothing dealer Boden says that consumers spend up to 20 minutes browsing their catalogue.

    Macromark has seen the positive results associated with using catalogues in direct mail marketing campaigns. We have the resources and experience to broker lists that speak specifically to the audience that will be most open to your product. Knowing how to strategically blend direct mail marketing with other techniques can go a long way to improving returns and generating revenue. Working with Macromark and our wealth of connections makes for a productive, effective campaign.


    Holmes, E., “Why Online Retailers Like Bonobos, Boden, Athleta Mail So Many Catalogues,” The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2014;

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    David Klein

    David Klein is CEO and President of Macromark, Inc. David has a rich and deep background in direct response marketing. His experience comes from being a consultant and list broker with more than 25 years in the Industry; working with several hundred different clients in just about every industry, market or niche found in direct mail. David is a graduate of the University of Illinois with high honors advanced degree course work in Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Part of Macromark’s vision is to help its clients succeed in their acquisition efforts for finding new customers regardless of the marketing channel or media used. Add me to your G+