Combining The Strengths Of Direct Mail & E-Mail

Over the past 2-3 years, the argument as to which marketing method you should use to obtain more customers and make more profit has been relentless. Half the people you speak to will swear blind that Direct Mail is the way forward, whereas the other half will say the opposite – so who do you listen to?
A recent study, undertaken by the Royal Mail, suggests that we should now start listening to both, but why? The answer is quite simple; Direct Mail is very good at doing what E-mail can’t, and E-mail is very good at doing what Direct Mail can’t – It’s as easy as that…
E-mail is quick, easy and informal. – A simple piece of information or news that you need to tell someone can be sent over in a flash. Direct Mail on the other hand, does not come with the same advantage, we all know that breaking news isn’t sent to us in the post, the reason being that by the time it reaches us, it is no longer “breaking news”.

Alternatively, Direct Mail is trustworthy, reliable and personal. – In fact, all the top associates show it as a medium of authority. This makes it perfectly suited for communications that are formal or official. E-mail however has been proven time and again to be misleading. The frequency of which we hear stories of people receiving spam via e-mail is on the rise, and with that we’ve seen a drop in trust for the medium.

In order to find out what people really thought of the two, Royal Mail carried out a survey on around 2,400 people in which they were asked to: “Choose the words that you most associate with each form of marketing” – The results are listed below:Direct Mail and email charahctersoitcis
As you can see both mediums were strong where the other wasn’t, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed with the eagle-eyed marketeers out there. You may have even noticed yourself that the number of campaigns that make use of both Direct Mail and E-Mail is on the rise.

In fact, most marketeers have come to realise that by integrating Direct Mail and E-mail communications, they will not only meet the customers needs, they will maximise the effectiveness of their communications.

Meanwhile, new and improved technology has allowed us to go online anywhere at anytime, and as a result, there is no real hiding from receiving emails. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it means the product or service you’re promoting can be picked up by your customers wherever they may be. Having said that, there is one problem, and that is “when it comes to brand engagement, consumers want a choice” – They want to be able digest information in as many different ways depending on where they are and what they’re doing.

In fact, 65% of 2,400 people said that they like to spend time browsing either a mailed catalogue or brochure at the same time as a company’s website. They don’t want companies to decide that they must only use one channel of communication. In addition to this, over half said they want a mix of both Direct Mail and E-Mail, and most surprisingly within the younger demographic- those who are more in tuned with digital technologies, 56% said that Direct Mail makes them feel more valued, with only 40% saying the same about E-Mail.

In conclusion, it’s clear that consumers do not see Direct Mail and E-Mail as the same; they feel they have different strengths and should be used for different types of communications. However, one feeling that is mutual amongst marketeers and consumers alike is that the combination of Direct Mail and E-Mail is hard to beat.  By doing this, marketeers are able to take advantage of their very different but highly complementary strengths.

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