Email Vs Direct Mail

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There’s only one way to find out…

Now I like email but I also like direct mail but which one is better… there’s only one way to find out… fight! Only kidding. As an email marketer you would think that I would vehemently promote email and yes I do, but there are pros to both. Email marketing is more efficient by some distance and it’s also a great way to keep in touch with your customers and generate sales leads. Direct mail is also a good way to reach your target audience and in this blog I will discuss both.

One of the beauties of email marketing is how cost effective it can be. It doesn’t cost a fortune to design a good email and to make effective use of text, graphics, pictures, links etc. A direct mail campaign will invariably involve sending out a brochure as well so all of this adds to the cost of posting it out.

Designing a good email campaign may take a few hours. You will need to look at factors such as target market, segmentation, design, layout and ensuring that the content is of good quality and worth reading. Once the email is sent out, as long as you have got a good quality delivering system, you will have a whole host of important statistics at your fingertips. Statistics such as open rates, customer profiles of those people who opened your email and went on to purchase, opt-outs and auto deletion of incorrect email addresses all help greatly when evaluating the success of a campaign and determining what strategies you can develop in your next email campaign.

In addition to this, it is much easier for a person to click on a link in your email and be directed to exactly where they need to be to make a buying decision. You can’t achieve that very effectively with a brochure in a direct mail campaign where you would be relying on the recipient to make a note and type it into their computer.

Designing a good direct mail campaign can be a bit more cumbersome. It will take longer than a few hours to sort out the design, layout, printing and postage for your campaign. Once you have sent it out you should be able to track the delivery and response rate but this may take a while because undelivered items tend to take a long time before they are sent back to you. Any updating of incorrect contact addresses will need to be handled manually as well which is time consuming. Having said that, direct mail campaigns are great for sending out giveaways, coupons, competitions, and special discount items so it shouldn’t be disregarded as part of a marketing strategy.

Email marketing is also a greener option than using direct mail. We are increasingly asked to look at ways that we can use less resource and by using email you will be saving on paper and the fuel costs associated with delivery. You will obviously be using electricity to drive your email servers but all things considered, it is still the most environmentally friendly option.

So which one’s better? I’m going to remain firmly on the fence. Depending on your strategy there are good opportunities in both methods.

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