With its low up front cost and nearly instant feedback, email is often cited as the preferred channel of marketers and the companies they work for. And who could blame them?
However, it seems that the news of direct mail’s demise may yet be premature.
Epsilon Targeting recently released its 2012 Channel Preference for both the mobile and non-mobile customer. In it, they looked at several verticals to determine which channel (internet, email or traditional mail) consumers preferred to receive information from brands. Overall, 60% of responders prefer to receive information through postal mail. When verticals are examined, mail was the preferred channel in all except travel, hobbies and online shopping.
Of course, few organizations have the budget to focus all of their marketing efforts on direct mail. That’s why it makes sense to use both channels to drive results. Here are 5 reasons to consider direct mail in your overall marketing mix:
- Higher Response. Despite the perception that traditional channels are less cost effective than digital channels, the Direct Marketing Association has found that direct mail delivers a response rate between 3.4% and 4.4% compared to 0.12% for email.
- More trustworthy. The Epsilon study also found that 25% of consumers think mail is more trustworthy than email offers.
- More, and better-targeted, prospects. Accurate, quality email lists are difficult to acquire since most people don’t really opt-in for third party email offers. Direct mail lists are typically far more accurate and current.
- Deliverability. A direct mail list is typically 95% deliverable vs. 50-70% deliverable for an email file. And ISPs are beginning to block more and more unsolicited emails, significantly decreasing the likelihood that your marketing message will reach the intended recipient.
- Drives people to your website or campaign landing page. Digital marketing is most effective when you have permission. When prospecting, an effective strategy is to use mail to drive an initial response and capture opt-in permission. Then you can nurture these leads at a very low cost until they are ready to refer to sales or make a purchase.
Direct mail and email also play well together. From our own experience, we’ve seen a lift in response to our direct mail campaigns of more the 50% when we follow a mailing with an email touch, reminding recipients of the offer and call to action.
In today’s competitive business climate, a single touch in any channel is unlikely to drive new leads or sales on its own. Approaching customers and prospects through both mail and email will typically yield better overall marketing results and a higher return on investment.