Dec 07, 2009
A hundred years ago, when mail was delivered in the U.S. by train and on horseback, no one could have imagined that we would ever talk about the "death" of "snail mail." And while that idea - that e-mail has killed direct mail - is frequently batted about, it's simply not true.
Yes, e-mail has risen dramatically as a form of communication, to some extent stealing share from traditional "snail mail." But all of the recent reports agree that direct mail is still alive and well. And there are 5 reasons why that is true - why direct mail is better than e-mail.
1. Less competition. According to the USPS, in 2008 U.S. households received just under 149 billion pieces of mail. That might sound like a lot, except when you consider that by 2013 Americans will receive 838 billion marketing e-mails, according to Forrester Research. So in the inbox, you're potentially competing with nearly 600% more messages than in the mailbox.
2. Better response. According to the Direct Marketing Association's Response Rate Report, on average, direct mail generated higher response rates than e-mail (2.8% compared to 2.5%). As a means of traffic generation, the average direct mail response rate was 5.8% while e-mail's was 1.5%. As a means of fundraising, direct mail beat e-mail 5.1% to 0.7%.
3. More control. The wide range of "e-mail clients" - the programs people use to receive e-mail - and the different rules they use for displaying e-mails, makes controlling how your e-mail will look in the recipient's inbox difficult. That task is made even harder by the burgeoning number of devices people use to check e-mail - from BlackBerrys and iPhones to netbooks and laptops. With direct mail, in contrast, you have complete control over what your piece will look like when the recipient receives it.
4. Easier targeting. The purpose of direct marketing is to target a specific message to specific people - it's you speaking directly to a prospect or client. The more you know about that prospect or client, the more effectively you can speak directly to him. There is a preponderance of information available - including demographic information, purchase trends, lifestyle data - that is connected to names and addresses. Often, sending e-mails targeted in the same way requires appending an e-mail list to a list of corresponding names - which can be more difficult (and more expensive).
5. More time for the pitch. With both direct mail and e-mail, you've got a very small amount of time to capture your prospects' attention. But with a direct mail postcard, for example, you've got an 8 x 5 in., full-color chance to capture your prospect's attention, through clever design and copy. With e-mail, the only thing separating you from the "Delete" key is the subject line.
All that said, the best marketing strategy is an integrated one - combining direct mail, e-mail, telemarketing, Internet marketing, social media, and good old fashioned payment pounding. Click2Mail can't help you knock on doors, but we can help you design an efficient, effective direct mail campaign. Visit Click2Mail.com now to get started.