The Choice Between Direct Mail and Email Marketing Strategies

Today, there are many marketing platforms for businesses to choose from. However, you may wonder if the older methods of getting your message out to consumers are as effective as newer options. For example, you may wonder whether email marketing or old-fashioned direct mail is superior. The answer really depends.

Direct Mail Marketing

Sending paper mail directly to consumers may seem antiquated. However, many companies and marketing firms still implement this strategy. This is because direct mail has certain qualities and benefits that are not necessarily shared by other choices such as email.

The Benefits of Direct Mail

One harsh fact about marketing is that most advertisements are simply ignored by consumers. They will either look away or make sure the ad simply becomes part of the background noise. This isn’t necessarily the case for mail. In an increasingly digital world where people are bombarded with digital messages constantly, many people assume that the actual snail mail they do receive may be important. For this reason, they are likely to look over each piece individually. However, producing an attractive design and message that will hold that consumer’s attention is still very important.

The Downsides of Direct Mail

Unfortunately, direct mail marketing does have some aspects that could be perceived as negative. The biggest of these is obviously cost. While it isn’t necessarily the most expensive advertising option available, it does involve certain fixed overhead expenses. Obviously, the cost of printing and postage are two of these expenses. It can also become quite time consuming for your staff. It will require managing mailing lists, designing the advertisements and supplying the manpower required to send out that mail.

The Keys to a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Obviously, producing attractive advertisements that the consumer will be receptive to is important. However, you need to do more than that. If you do not direct your mail to the right consumers, you will be wasting a lot of money. You need to have a good idea of exactly who your consumers are. If you are sending mail to specific addresses instead of just anyone, you are much more likely to produce conversions.

Email Marketing

Email seems like the obvious progression from printed materials to digital advertisements. However, it is really a completely separate animal. Email has certain qualities that direct mail solutions simply do not. These can both be very positive and very negative in terms of launching a marketing campaign.

The Benefits of Email

The great thing about email is there are basically no overhead expenses. You can simply implement your current internet access to send out email to thousands of individuals through completely free email programs. Better yet, the process is extremely fast and efficient. Once someone presses send on the bulk e-mail program, the messages will reach those email addresses within seconds. The process is also so simple that it can be tasked to a single employee.

The Downsides of Email

Despite how cheap, fast and efficient email is, email marketing does have a few significant challenges and drawbacks. First of all, you need to have a quality mailing list to launch a successful email campaign. You can build your own. For example, you could offer to send out coupons to customers’ email addresses and use that as a means to build a mailing list. However, very often, a business will have to purchase a mailing list from an outside company. This will not come cheap.

Second, people in general are not as receptive to advertisements sent out through email. If a message looks like an advertisement, it may be deleted by the receiver before he or she even reads it. Even worse, it may be filtered out of that person’s inbox via a spam filter. This is why the design of an email is vitally important. The receiver must believe he or she has some good reason to actually open the email.

The Keys to a Successful Email Campaign

As previously mentioned, a quality mailing list is required for launching a successful email campaign. This isn’t very different from direct mail. However, you need to take special care when crafting your email advertisements. They need to be able to pass through spam filters unscathed. They also need to give the receiver some reason not to click delete. Offering discounts and coupons, for example, may give a person enough reason to actually read the message.

Overall, direct mail and email may seem similar, but they both have their own sets of pluses and minuses. Consider all of these carefully when choosing between both options for an upcoming campaign. However, in certain cases, it may be wise to not make this choice. Implementing both email and direct mail solutions together may work the best for certain kinds of promotions and projects. Balancing both is very possible.

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