Which is Better, Direct Mail or Email Marketing?

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There are certainly many pros and cons to direct mail marketing as well as email marketing.  Both are intended to gain the interest of the recipient, and both are generally used as permission based marketing techniques.  Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Direct mail marketing uses tangible materials to promote goods and services.  Email that is sent may be opened, or not, and may only last for a few seconds in the experience of the recipient.  Direct mail may sit on the person’s countertop for a couple of days, and, at the very least will pass through their hands which may give the recipient a slightly longer time to take a quick look at what there is to see.
  2. Email marketing is often more permission based than direct mail.  In general, the recipients of your email marketing efforts have specifically requested that you send them the information pertaining to the offers you have.
  3. Direct mailing allows you to make sure that the information you are sending is received in the form that you intend it to.  You don’t have to worry about the computer system or mobile device that the recipient is using, they will be getting the information in the same exact form as every other recipient.  No worries about broken links or pages that don’t load properly, either, which can be frustrating to your recipients and lead to them sending your message straight to the trash.
  4. Direct mail tends to cost more than most email marketing campaigns.  Even an automated service is usually cheaper than the bulk postage rates you will have to pay for direct mailing.
  5. Email marketing campaigns may have limits on the number of emails that you can send each day or month, which may affect how many people you can reach.  Direct mailing is only limited by how much you can afford to send out.
  6. Direct mail is never spam, meaning that when someone receives direct mail marketing materials, there is no question about what company sent it and if it is legitimate.

Although the electronic age allows for many different marketing techniques, it is important to compare the distinctions and the relative value of direct mail and email marketing when planning your marketing campaign.

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