Radio’s Reach and Direct Mail’s Penetration Are An Advertiser’s Dream.


According to the Valassis 2020 Consumer Study, direct mail continued to be a source of valuable ads and coupons for many consumers. 58% of Millennials, 62% of Gen Xers and 65% of households with incomes of $100,000+ said the direct mail they received led to a purchase during the past 30 days.


Radio is where advertisers can achieve more reach and maximize direct mail’s penetration rate. Data in five representative Spring and Summer 2021 consumer/market surveys conducted by The Media Audit supports the complementary nature of radio and direct mail.


The first table shows the large percentages of Millennials, Gen Xers, households with incomes of $100,000+ and Baby Boomers with incomes of $100,000+ who listen to one or more hours of radio daily and have heavy exposure to direct mail (read 75%+ of its content weekly).


“Millennials and Gen Xers are likely to explore their direct mail carefully because so many have young families and need the discounts and coupons they find there to supplement their purchases and help balance their budgets,” said Jill Medina, Southwest Market Manager, The Media Audit. “Advertisers must also be reminded that affluent consumers also use coupons and take advantage of limited offers in their direct mail. Being smart consumers is one of the reasons they became affluent.”


The second table correlates consumers’ radio listening and direct mail reading with some of the local businesses where they are most likely to use coupons and discounts from direct mail.


Research from Valassis and other sources find consumers still have a positive experience when opening and reading direct mail, generally because it’s a tactile alternative to spending so much time seeking information online. Direct mail can also generate a strong emotional response and radio has a similar power. It is the medium advertisers can use effectively to first establish an emotional connection that increases as consumers read and act on the offers and coupons in their direct mail. That emotional connection continues when consumers are engaging with the local businesses advertising in direct mail – and radio.

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