Top 9 Facts You Should Know About TV Advertising vs. Direct Mail

Jessica Dyess

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Oct 8, 2020 9:30:00 AM


Top 9 Facts You Should Know About TV Advertising vs. Direct Mail

When it comes to advertising, TV and direct mail are two mediums with a strong tradition of success.  In fact, 41% of Americans of all ages look forward to checking their mail each day. And the average viewer spends 2 hours, 46 minutes per day watching TV.

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Your marketing budget isn't limitless, and you want to be sure that you're making the right decisions with your ad spend.  That’s why  it's important to know the distinctions between TV and direct mail advertising so you can use them effectively. Here are 9 facts about TV and direct mail you should know before spending your advertising dollars. 

1. TV has a broad reach.

When you send out direct mailings, you can reach only the people you advertise to directly: the people in the exact geographic area you've chosen to target. With TV ads, on the other hand, you can target a broad range of people all at the same time. TV ads may help you reach a broader demographic, including people who might live near your target addresses, or people who might visit the area while your commercial runs. 

2. Direct mail can be sent to large groups.

Direct mail advertising might not have the same reach as TV, but it can expand to include a large number of potential consumers. Direct mail can be sent to as large a number of people as you want, as long as your advertising budget supports printing and mailing out the materials. The post office also typically offers discounts for bulk mailings. People are reading that information, too: 31% of Baby Boomers will be moved to make a purchase based on a mailing. 

3. TV tells a story.

Your TV ads, like the content they're surrounded by, tell a story. In your ad, you not only have the opportunity to express what specific product you're marketing but also who your brand is and what you hope to accomplish through your efforts. TV creates a sense of resonance with its viewers, unlike direct mail, which is a more static advertising method. 

4. Direct mail tends to be more promotional.

You have a much more limited space in which to convey your message when you send out direct mailings. Typically, that space gets taken up by an announcement of who your business is, what you're promoting, and any sale information you want to share with your audience. Often, direct mail focuses more on a single-line message or tagline. 

5. TV engages the senses.

TV allows viewers to hear as well as see your ads. They will, therefore, engage more directly with the ad and its content. Not only that, it tells a story: not just a single static image, but a moving picture that reaches out to viewers and encourages an emotional response. Consumers are more likely to respond to content that engages more of their senses--and they're more likely to remember it later. 

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6. Direct mail doesn't prompt much emotion.

People tend to glance at direct mail ads and toss them aside, unless they have a use for them. Consumers might find themselves tempted by coupons or sales offers, prompting them to hold on to those ads, but they rarely feel an emotional connection to those direct mailings. 1 in 5 people throw away direct mailings without even opening them. Even more throw them away without responding. 

7. TV gets digested even if the viewer isn't fully paying attention. 

In today's society, an increasing number of viewers engage with other devices and take care of other tasks while watching TV. That doesn't mean, however, that those viewers aren't paying attention. Often, those viewers absorb snippets of content or will pick up the point of the ad even if they don't fully engage with it. 

8. Direct mail frequently gets discounted.

People receive a great deal of spam in their mailboxes every day. As a result, direct mail often gets thrown away or discounted completely. While people have a high degree of trust in print ads, they also may choose to ignore them in favor of other types of advertisements. Even people who save direct mail advertisements that appeal to them--coupons and sales, for example--may forget about the mailer when the time comes to use it.

9. TV produces a high ROI. 

Advertising on  TV often leads to a high overall return on your investment. In fact, for each dollar invested in TV advertising, 6.5 dollars was earned. TV ads allow you to reach a wider audience, share more about your product, and build a high level of trust with your viewers, especially when you advertise on familiar stations or utilize the contributions of familiar faces and voices to share the word about your product. 

While direct mail advertising offers a number of opportunities, TV advertising offers even more. By connecting with a media partner, you will get access to more creative opportunities and more information about how to reach your target demographic, improving the success of your TV ads and generating a higher return on your marketing investment. 

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Topics: TV Advertising