Is Direct Mail Still Effective?

I’m often asked “Which is better, email marketing or direct mail marketing?” While email is a very effective medium for communicating and selling customers – from the prospective of prospecting (finding NEW customers) – I feel direct mail is much more effective, and here’s 7 reasons why:

HIGHER RESPONSE. When searching for “new” customers, study after study proves regular mail will generate more new customers than email. A recent study by the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) shows direct mail being 10 to 30 times more effective than email.

HIGHER DELIVERY RATE. A good mailing list is typically 95% deliverable. On the other hand, the great majority of email lists being advertised have a delivery rate of below 50%. Also, due to the constant onslaught by spammers, the ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc) are beginning to block unsolicited emails… and for this reason some are predicting the demise of email “prospecting.” Fantastic offer, fantastic creative, fantastic list… all this is irrelevant if the ISPs don’t deliver. With regular mail — your offer gets delivered!

HIGHER OPEN RATE. With the great majority of email “prospecting” campaigns, 95+ percent of all emails are not even opened. The email recipient will either delete or transfer to the SPAM box… without even peeking at the email… your brand name. On the other hand, postal mail is a tangible item that typically captures a glance. The receiver may not read every word, but your company name/brand will gain much more awareness with postal mail than with email.

MORE PROSPECTS. Accurate — quality email addresses are very difficult to acquire — mainly because most people do not opt-in for 3rd party offers. For this reason, virtually all email lists are missing the majority of the target. Typically a good mail list offers 80% more prospects.

LONG SHELF LIFE. The shelf-life of an email offer is measured in seconds, while an offer via regular mail can linger on a coffee table for days.

LESS COMPETITION. More than ever consumers are bombarded with digital offers that they don’t want. Email is now the cluttered option, while direct mail represents the uncluttered option. With postal mail your offer will not get lost in avalanche of competitive offers.

SAFETY. This one is a biggie! With the growing threat of identity theft, viruses, and SPAM, people are becoming more and more hesitant in responding to on-line offers… even legitimate interesting offers. Regular mail is safe… the user can visit any website on his/her own time schedule and without having to click potentially dangerous links.

So, for “prospecting” as well as putting offers in front of qualified buyers (BUYERS that are looking for your product or service) that will help grow your business quickly… “old fashion” mail is much more effective than email! Email “prospecting” is losing its power. Direct mail on the other hand has never really lost its power and is in fact gaining strength. This is the very reason that even some of the biggest Internet names (Google, Facebook, Microsoft to name just a few) are major direct mail users themselves. Bottom line – companies that use regular mail will gain a competitive edge on the competitors that skip mail.