Direct Mail Versus Email Marketing

If you’re a budding business, you’ve probably heard about the hype that surrounds Direct Mail Marketing and Email Marketing, but which one do you choose? To be honest, one could suit a business perfectly, whilst another business might not. It’s hard to know what’s best for you. Both direct mail and email marketing have pros and cons, and it’s important you’re aware of these pros and cons before you make an investment you may regret.

Let’s start with email. Email is cheap, we all know it, that’s why it’s practically a spammers playground! They don’t care if response rates are low because their costs are negligible. If you want to reach a large number of people, and if you have access to a solid, opt-in list, then go for it! A test sure won’t cost you very much.

As well as this, email is fast, and it’s fast in two ways. First, your production is near minimal. As soon as you have an idea you want to test, you can write out an email that you think could appeal to your consumers, and hit send! And secondly, because sending was so fast, you’re guaranteed to get a few emails almost instantly, and then before you know it, you know whether your idea was a hit or a miss.

Now for the bad points. The email environment is not a good one. Thanks to mega-spammers, sorting through email messages can be a real drag, until eventually people get to the point where they delete everything but important emails from colleagues family and friends. And if you’re not in that list, then in most cases, you will more than likely be deleted.

On top of this, emails have to be short. When possible consumers are going through their emails, blocks of text is boring, and people don’t usually have the time to read through it, due to this you often have to cut back on long copy, complex offers, supporting facts and arguments for your product. They all have to go, or people won’t read what you have to say…

Continuing on from this, shortening everything limits your creativity, and even when you manage to throw in some color and photography, the look is hard to perfect and get right, and a lot of the time, no matter how experienced your graphic designer is, they’re basically fighting with one hand behind their back.

And on top of this, great email lists can be difficult to find, even when list brokers promise high quality ‘opt-in’ lists, you can often end up playing with fire. The fact it, the direct mail list business is a lot more mature, and you can often find ethical, and helpful list brokers if you shop around for them.

Direct mail has a healthy environment. Generally when you’re sorting through your postal mail, you’re probably a lot more relaxed. This makes a massive difference in receptivity a lot higher than it would be if you were staring at your computer screen, pressed for time, aggressively deleted spam! With direct mail, you’re far more likely to get a response because the people reading are happier to read it.

With direct mail, you get a lot more space. This is a benefit because it gives you the chance to tell the whole story. You can include your arguments for the product, any statistic. More often than not if you write a compelling letter that truly convinces people, they will stay with you. As well as this, you can really emote your feelings to the reader. You can inspire, frighten, convince, argue, motivate, whatever you need to do, and readers will accept that in direct mail, where they will not in email. In email all that is needed is facts, and this can make for very difficult writing.

The only downside with Direct Mail would have to be the cost. It can sometimes be quite costly to distribute what you need on a wide or small scale. However, it could be a worthy investment for the future, as you get a better idea as to whether to go ahead with your project and how well it would do, you can basically see your project’s future, which in the marketing world, can be invaluable.

As you can see from the list above, direct mail and email marketing both have their advantages, but personally, I think direct mail is soon to make a big comeback. As spammers continue to block out legitimate businesses through email, businesses that use direct mail thrive, because people are more willing to give their time to people who need it.