Direct mail marketers need to become more innovative in order to prevent the channel from going into decline, according to an industry specialist.

Marketing expert Russell Parsons said marketers need to use direct mail’s unique selling point – its ability to physically engage with consumers – to their advantage in order to prevent being “eclipsed by young digital upstarts”.

“Direct mail has long been under pressure and mail bodies such as the Direct Marketing Association and interested parties including Royal Mail have fought the channel’s corner admirably,” he commented in Marketing Week.

However, in order to keep the platform relevant and effective, marketers need to recognise direct mail’s virtues as well as its limitations, Mr Parsons maintained.

Combining direct mail with other digital platforms as part of a multichannel strategy can also breathe renewed life into direct mail, which has been previously criticised for its lack of environmental credentials.

Chris Combemale, executive director of the Direct Marketing Association, recently urged direct marketers to keep up with the latest technological developments in the industry in order to manage their brand reputations.