Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us

Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:   COVID-19 Coverage   Printing Outlook 2020   WhatTheyThink Magazine     Production Inkjet     Installations and Placements

Commentary & Analysis

Survey: Multichannel Marketing from a Small Business Perspective

How are small businesses implementing multichannel marketing? What role does direct mail play in those strategies? Taradel decided to find out. This article takes a look at some key findings and takeaways.

By Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Published: June 26, 2019

How are small businesses implementing multichannel marketing? What role does direct mail play in those strategies? Taradel, a Glen Allen, Va.,  provider of turnkey marketing solutions, decided to find out. Using SurveyMonkey, it surveyed 230+ small businesses about their marketing strategies, including their view of direct mail and multichannel use.

According to the survey, more than 80% of small businesses are using two or more channels in their marketing this year. Nearly 60% are using three or more.

How Many Marketing Channels Does Your Business Actively Use?









5 or more



While we might think that most small businesses rely almost exclusively on email and social media, a high percentage of respondents use direct mail and feel that it delivers a high ROI. When asked, “Which marketing channel delivers the highest ROI for your business?” direct mail and social media were less than one-half percentage point of one another. Social media came in number one, with 23.1% of respondents giving this answer, followed by direct mail, at 22.7%.

Perhaps surprising to some, 70.0% of small business respondents planned to use direct mail in 2019, just behind social media at 77.4%. Email came in much farther behind, with 54.8% planning to use this channel in 2019.

There is lots of great data in this report (for a free copy, click here). But there are two takeaways that really jumped out at me.

  1. How large a role direct mail plays among small businesses, even when other digital options, such as YouTube, email, digital banner ads, and paid search are available.
  2. While our industry tends to focus on the relationship between direct mail and email, it is really direct mail and social mediathat are the focus of small business.

Which Social Media Platforms Does your Business Use Regularly?













None of the above



This is only one survey, and we don’t know whether it is statistically projectable. However, with 230+ small business respondents, it is a reminder that printers should not overlook small businesses as a key customer base for direct mail. It also provides interesting insight into the channel preferences of these businesses. Increasingly, there are solutions for integrating direct mail, Facebook/Instagram, and online retargeting into a single campaign. While it might be tempting to see these solutions as serving only a niche market, surveys like this one suggest that this approach might be more in demand than you think.

This is a really interesting survey. If your business focuses on small business, it’s worth the read.

Heidi Tolliver-Walker Heidi is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL, and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, availalbe through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype,” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”


Post a Comment

To post a comment Log In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free


Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2020 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved