Email holds a solid place in the marketing toolkit for many types of businesses. But did you know that direct mail marketing actually offers numerous advantages over email? While email can be a great method of following up with leads and existing customers, it doesn’t hold a candle to direct mail marketing when it comes to generating those leads.
Direct mail is a superior choice for prospecting and also for driving direct sales that don’t require a lengthy nurturing process. That makes it ideal for small and local businesses. Just how does direct mail marketing do that? Let us count the ways.
- One survey showed 70% of consumers would rather receive unsolicited information from an unknown company via mail. Half this survey’s respondents specifically stated they prefer direct mail to email, with two-thirds saying direct mail feels more personal to them.
- Postcards are distinctive in ways email can’t possibly emulate. There is something irresistible about finding a postcard in your mailbox – you just have to take a closer look to see what it’s all about. Prospects can hold your postcard in their hand, turn it over, study it. Zero in on your special offer.
- An email recipient has to take deliberate steps to save your message, whereas it’s easy to keep a direct mail postcard handy on the counter or fridge for future reference and follow-up.
- It’s easy to assemble a direct mailing list that is targeted to your top prospects, because you can use a vast array of selection criteria. With email, pinpoint targeting is difficult if not impossible.
- It’s also easy to “clean” direct mail lists to ensure they’re up-to-date and accurate. No wonder research shows the typical delivery rate is 95% or better. On the other hand, many individuals and now even search engines deliberately block unsolicited emails as spam, and if you obtain a third-party email list, you have no way to verify its accuracy.
- Direct mail inspires a higher response rate than email – as much as 10-30 times higher, according to some studies.
- Even if someone receives your email, the chances of them opening it to read your message are slim at best. Nobody has to open your postcard marketing — they can instantly see and assimilate your name and offer and understand why they should respond.
- Consumers are increasingly leery of opening and responding to emails from unknown sources, and even from known entities, because of concerns about identify theft, viruses, etc. Postcards offer a friendly, colorful greeting in your prospect’s mailbox. Instead of a potential threat, they represent a likely benefit.
- Most companies that rent email lists won’t give you the list, so you don’t know who you’re communicating with and have no way of continuing the conversation. When you rent or purchase a direct mail marketing list, the information is usually yours to keep.
- Direct mail ROI is a proven winner. There is little cost associated with email, but postcard marketing is very affordable. And when you consider direct mail is far more effective than email, there’s no comparing the return on your investment.
You can use direct mail to support email and other online marketing.
The US Postal Service has conducted extensive research about direct mail response. While they are an obvious proponent of this form of marketing, other sources confirm that about two-thirds of recipients say they have responded by making a purchase or visiting a website.
Compared to shoppers who didn’t receive a mailing, more than a quarter of direct mail recipients buy more and spend more. This study noted that websites promoted via direct mail saw a 163% boost in revenue.
When you use direct mail to drive website traffic, you can capture your recipient’s email address, then use email in the way it works – to nurture those leads. That way, you get the best of both worlds.