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How Does Direct Mail Compare to Email Marketing

There are positives and negatives to every marketing medium, the choice of which medium to use very much depends on your business, your objectives and your audience – and it isn’t always an easy to decision to make. But how does direct mail compare to email marketing?

All About Direct Mail

When produced to a high standard, and targeted at the right people, direct mail produces the results. People take notice of mail coming through their door, and the open rate of direct mail is extremely high. They have a few moments to read your message and consider your offering without any other noise around – this is very rare! Having a successful direct mail campaign comes down to having a great direct mail targeting list. This ensures you send the right thing to the right people, personalising the mailing will also increase the effectiveness of the campaign. Direct mail also offers the opportunity for measuring your campaign, the more data you capture on your target market and responses to your campaign the better, you can use this information for future mailings. Direct mail can be flexible to your budget, there are a variety of sizes to choose and you are able to include as little or as much information as you wish.

However, if your direct mail campaign isn’t targeted at the right people, you will see a very low return on investment making the mailing expensive. Direct mail will also not provide you with instant results, the responses won’t be immediate and it may have to be followed up with a telephone call or second mailing.


All About Email Marketing

The main difference between direct mail and email marketing is the response time, with email marketing offering a much quicker response time. It can also be less expensive per hit than direct mail. The expenses however will come from designing the email creative and producing a suitable email database to target. Keeping this database up to date also means you are able to break down and segment the database for further targeted future email campaigns. There are no boundaries with email marketing, you can target anyone with an email address anywhere and your message will get to them in a matter of seconds, meaning you can take advantage of instant promotions. Readers of your email can instantly reply or click through to your website and enquire or make a purchase.

A big downside to email marketing is the perception of spam from your readers. If bombarded with offers from a range of companies, your readers may instantly bin your email as you become part of the noise they are trying to avoid. Spam mailing will instantly turn acquisition (and sometimes even retention) customers away from you. The best way to avoid this is to get permission for sending the email, and offer something just as a discount or newsletter, if the person agrees to receive your message you will have the opportunity for much more targeted email campaigns in the future. Keep your email campaigns short and to the point, displaying a clear subject line and call to action for the reader.