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Direct mail marketing growing in relevance

Even as digital and online media become the universal marketing method for businesses large and small, many companies are returning to direct mail to complement their overall strategies.

Marketing consulting firm the Winterberry Group reported last month that businesses' spending on direct mail initiatives is expected to grow by 5.8 percent this year to reach $47.8 billion – a rate that Winterberry managing director Bruce Biegel claimed the industry has not experienced in five to six years.

"The workhorse benefits of mail remain: It is highly customizable, it enables marketers to communicate more information in a single package, it's trackable and it can be particularly effective when integrated with other media channels," writes Carol Krol for Direct Marketing News.

The challenge with direct mail is attracting the attention of prospects right off the bat. The U.S. Postal Service conducted a few years ago that found 77 percent of consumers sort through their mail immediately upon retrieving it, but marketing materials may have only a few seconds to grab their attention before being thrown away.

Accordingly, businesses should develop novel ways of reaching their consumers and ensure that their materials are unique and, most importantly, able to spark the interest of prospects.

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