Launching a successful marketing campaign for any business or brand requires more than sharing a simple message about the products or services you provide. Choosing the right marketing vehicle for your next campaign can drastically impact the outcome and the ROI you receive. If you are considering both email and direct mail campaigns as potential tools in your current marketing strategy, it is important to determine which route is right for your business and the audience you want to reach.
While email marketing has remained as one of the most popular tools used in online marketing, direct mail is also an effective strategy to boost response rates. According to the Direct Marketing Association (along with organizations such as Epsilon and Bizo), direct mail marketing campaigns garner an approximate 4.4% response rate compared to email marketing campaigns, which only receive a 0.12% response rate on average. Depending on the goal of your campaign, a direct mail solution may work best to bring awareness whereas an email campaign may be better suited for timed promotions or flash sales.
Define Your Audience
Consider the demographics of the audience that you intend to reach with your brand’s products, services, or content. What are the typical genders, age ranges, and locations of the prospective customers you want to reach with your campaign? How does your target audience typically discover new brands, products, or sales? Do you intend to sell your products and services in a local brick-and-mortar shop, or do you have an eCommerce storefront to generate sales?
Some of the population may prefer to receive direct mail campaigns, especially if they are community-oriented or find themselves involved in local events and social gatherings, for example like Fort Myers post office people would base their campaign out of this location. Individuals with busy, hectic, and tech-centric lives are more likely to respond to email campaigns, especially if they shop online more than they do at local shops. Define your audience before crafting a new marketing campaign to hone in a specific demographic with the proper tools and channels.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Email marketing has a plethora of benefits and advantages, especially if you are building a new business or brand from the ground up. Some of the most notable benefits of email marketing include:
- Low Cost: Email marketing is extremely affordable on any budget.
- A/B Testing: Using email marketing is a great way to implement A/B testing, providing you valuable insight into what type of language, messaging, and imagery works best to communicate with your target audience.
- Metrics and Tracking: Tracking response rates, click-through rates, and overall ROI has never been easier than with email campaigns and email campaign tracking software. Receive real-time updates and live reports of data collected from each individual email campaign you launch.
- Maximize Your Reach: With the advent of social media and smartphone technology, it is now easier than ever to maximize your online reach with the use of email marketing campaigns.
Cons of Email Marketing
While email marketing is ideal for many solo entrepreneurs and business owners alike, there are also drawbacks to keep in mind before launching your next campaign, such as:
- Low Response Rate: With ad blindness at an all-time high along with email spam, email campaigns are not always successful. Low response rates (0.12%) are common among all email marketing campaigns, even if you are sending a highly targeted campaign.
- No Guarantee: There is no guarantee that you will experience a successful email marketing campaign, even if you are selling a high-quality product or service at an affordable price. It is best to utilize A/B testing with smaller budgets when getting started with email marketing campaigns for the first time.
- Forgettable: If your email marketing campaign does not stand out to the audience you are targeting, recipients are much more likely to forget about your business and brand altogether. Carefully crafting an email marketing campaign (especially for a new brand) is imperative to prevent missing out on potential opportunities to generate leads and sales.
Advantages of Direct Mail Campaigns
Direct mail campaigns have been around for decades before email campaigns. Some notable advantages of direct mail campaigns include:
- Unique: Stand out from the potential competition, especially if you are promoting a business in your local area.
- Increased Response Rates: Boost your response rates with a direct mail campaign.
- ROI: Increase your ROI along with the response rates you receive with a direct mail campaign.
Disadvantages of Direct Mail Campaigns
Before launching a direct mail campaign, consider the following challenges and obstacles that may arise in the process:
- Lack of Tracking: Unfortunately, with a direct mail campaign it is difficult to closely monitor the effectiveness of each item you send in the mail.
- Cost: Sending a direct mail campaign is often more costly than sending emails as it requires printed materials and shipping.
- Potential for Spam: Depending on the quality and relevancy of your direct mail campaign, your business may be viewed as spam if it is mailed to the wrong audience.
Understanding the differences between both email and direct mail campaigns can help significantly when developing a marketing strategy for your own business and brand. With an understanding of the pros and cons of email and direct mail campaigns, create a marketing strategy that is optimal for your target audience while improving the ROI on each campaign you launch.