Direct Mail vs Email – Who is the King of Marketing Campaigns?

Posted: October 6, 2017

Categorised in: Direct Mail

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We live in a digitally driven world. Our lives are online, but that hasn’t stopped direct mail. You may think traditional advertising methods, such as direct mail marketing, have lost their place, but that’s far from the truth. Many businesses make the mistake that prospective consumers would prefer emails, but recent findings have suggested that’s not the case.

It’s estimated that the number of emails sent daily is a huge 269 billion, with the average office worker receiving 121 emails per day. With these email marketing stats in mind, you run the risk of your email promotion getting lost in the sea of spam. Direct mail marketing campaigns are considerably lower, with an average of 13.8 billion letters sent out a year. With less competition, comes the chance to stand out from the crowd, and direct mail response rates are now at their highest point in over a decade.

What is Direct Mail and Why Does it Work?

Direct mail is the more traditional marketing medium and, while it had fallen out of favour with the rise of the digital era, it has made a resurgence. Direct mail marketing campaigns are proving particularly favourable for those re-thinking their advertising strategies.
The two advertising processes are vastly different, but boast the same aim – get your message in front of the widest, prospective audience. Direct mail is thought to have a lifespan of 17 days and, to put it into perspective, email marketing has an estimated two seconds – demonstrating the power of direct mail. Once emails are opened, they are typically forgotten or even deleted, but a piece of mail in your home is a constant reminder. Even if you choose to throw that direct mail in the bin, 66% of direct mail is read before done so, and a further 82% continue to read for more than one minute. It’s understandable with stats such as these, to see why direct mail works and is used more frequently today, also in conjunction with digital advertising methods.

Advantages of Direct Mail Marketing

The difference between direct mail and email is evident in the customer response rates. A staggering 190% increase on prospect response rates has been reported for direct mail marketing campaigns. On top of that, only 44% have been known to recall the brand directly after seeing a digital ad, and 75% after receiving direct mail.
Direct mail marketing is an effective advertising tool, compared to email marketing, as it is seen and heard among the overwhelming number of emails. The effectiveness of direct mail can also be measured in personalisation; the method allows you to speak directly to your prospective audience and personalise your message for their needs and buying habits. Therefore, you build trust and consumer loyalty – driving sales and generating revenue. Direct mail marketing campaigns are clever, especially in this day and age, taking you away from the chaos of the online world. Direct mail exists outside of digital and takes us away to read and find time for ourselves, enabling us to better understand your brand message.

What is Email Marketing and is it the Future?

There’s no denying that email marketing is a proven, successful advertising technique. You can reach your entire customer database with just one click. However, we are suffering from an oversaturation of emails, with an average of 22.87% of people opening their emails – half the response rate for direct mail. This could be due to the aforementioned sea of spam we receive each day, as well as the novelty of direct mail. Our inboxes feature a vast number of emails, but nothing quite compares to holding your piece of direct mail.

Advantages of Email Marketing

Email marketing is still a powerful tool in the digital age. Over 25% of the population has an email address, enabling you to reach huge numbers when discussing your services or products. A notable difference between direct mail and email is the speed in which they are both produced, as email marketing can be done with one click. Email marketing is also the more cost-effective advertising method, but when you compare direct mail vs email response rates – you have to wonder whether it is worth sacrificing response rates, for faster delivery.

Direct Mail and Email Marketing Combined

Forget the debate of direct mail v email, as the future’s looking bright; direct mail and email marketing combined. Using your digital marketing tactics, you can refine the focus for your direct mail. Pair the direct mail and digital advertising for a double strategy that increases awareness of your products and services. When direct mail is combined with email marketing, Royal Mail reported 13% of consumers were driven to the company’s website. If you deliver the same message across a multitude of platforms, you are, effectively, covering all bases.

With your direct mail marketing and email marketing methods, remember to create a lasting impression. Reinforce both strategies with each other (enhance direct mail with digital call to actions) and know the right time to appeal to your prospective audience.

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