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What Is The Difference Between Direct Mail and Email Marketing?

Do you know the difference between direct mail and email marketing? Have you ever received a coupon, discount offer, or information on an upcoming sale in your mailbox? Or perhaps you prefer finding out about discounts via email promotions. In either case, you were the target of a marketing campaign designed to get you in the store. Today, email marketing and direct mail are two of the most popular forms of consumer marketing. Yet, many people don’t really understand these techniques. In this post, we will explain how these marketing methods work and how they might benefit you.

a graphic representing the different between direct mail and email marketing

Difference Between Direct Mail and Email Marketing:

What is Direct Mail and Email Marketing?

Direct mail encompasses a wide variety of marketing materials, including brochures, catalogs, postcards, newsletters, print services, and sales letters.  This marketing mean goes out via the postal system targeting either current customers, past customers or potential prospects that would utilize your services. The most effective direct-mail pieces often feature discounts and coupons for consumers.
Email marketing involves sending a mass commercial message, usually to a group of people that have shopped for your service before, using email. Email marketing includes using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations.

Direct mail vs. Email marketing

We typically look at a new email for just two seconds. Because of the sheer volume of emails in our inbox and advertisements on the web, digital messages can be slightly less memorable than print messages. Brand recall directly after seeing a digital ad is just 44%, in comparison to direct mail which has a brand recall of 75%. Although the US Post Office has increased postage costs over recent years, there are Drop Ship services available to save on bulk mailings that make direct mail very cost effective. Plus Print Services and Mail Services have dropped throughout the past few years due to advancements in presses and efficiencies making direct mail more affordable.  Email marketing might be cheaper to facilitate and might get a higher response rate of opens. But direct mail has proven to generate a larger return on investment.

Benefits of Direct Mail marketing

Direct Mail is the only marketing mean that allows businesses to target a specific type of prospect and hit them at their home or business with a marketing message knowing that it has been received. Other Marketing means like Radio, TV and Email marketing are all effective marketing methods but there is never a guarantee that your prospect will see your message, hear it or open it due to SPAM filters and full inboxes.  In fact, Direct Mail has the perception of a more personal form of marketing. While email has the perception to be rapid and informal. Research suggests that Direct Mail is better for generating new customers. In fact, 13.8 billion letters are sent every year, 12,098,60 a day are direct mail messages created by print services. In addition, the average lifespan of direct mail is 17 days.

Benefits of Email Marketing

The average return on investment for an email is $38 for every $1 spent. Each year, 74 trillion emails are sent, and the average lifespan of an email is two seconds. Email is better for generating profit fast with Flash Sales or huger offers. Email marketing is significantly cheaper and faster than traditional mail. It can reach a very broad network of prospects, but with SPAM filters and the majority of retailors sending daily emails, a lot of them go unopened or seen.
How do you decide between direct mail print services and email marketing?  There are benefits to each and they both should be a part of your marketing strategy.  But keep in mind when sending an offer or coupon to a potential prospect, research has found that 66% of consumers are more likely to remember to use a voucher if they have a physical copy of a coupon verses an email copy.  Hopefully this cleared up many concerns when it comes to the difference between direct mail and email marketing.

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