Direct mail – An alternative to email marketing

Direct mail could be the ‘new’ marketing technique you are looking for to gain customers.

Technology – specifically email – has changed the direct marketing industry. However, it hasn’t damaged the use of direct mail – in some ways it has increased its effectiveness. It’s great at directing customers to your webpage to buy online or for collecting information such as prospect email addresses.

Here are four reasons why direct mail is still relevant in the world of email marketing:

1. Email overload

How many emails do you receive each day? How many do you actually read? If your first answer is dramatically higher than the second, you are most likely suffering with email overload. It’s a very common problem – people do not have enough time to sort through every personal communication, offer or news update every day. So why would a consumer give your new email marketing message even a second thought?

This is where direct mail can fill the gap. Epsilon conducted a study and found that 77% of consumers sort through their physical post as soon as they get it. This supports the notion that customers and prospects are more likely to read your marketing message when sent via direct mail in comparison to email, especially if they aren’t familiar with your brand.

2. Get personal

People are far more savvy with email now, if your start your email with ‘Dear John’, John will most likely know you’ve bought his information from somewhere or used the Internet to find his details. Using the same tactic with a piece of direct mail can still have a strong effect, the person will have to stop what they’re doing and at least skim your message – not just select the email and click ‘delete’.

3. Trust

The development of technology has provided a cause for concern regarding privacy. Typically, people only open emails from trusted people and brands, and only click links if they know where they’re going to end up. These are the obstacles you need to navigate through when sending emails to people who you haven’t contacted before.

Direct mail is not faced with the same problems as emails. You can add as much as you like – all of the bells and whistles that you think are needed to grab the consumers’ attention. They will see your added extras as bonuses, not red flags.

4. First impressions

Direct mail gives you the opportunity to impress the consumer – colourful envelopes, good quality paper – all of these aspects and more can give a great first impression. There are a number of envelope sizes, shapes and colours for you to try out. Yes, you can change the background of an email, but how will they know if they delete it before even opening?

Read and comment on the original Entrepreneur article.