Email Marketing vs. Direct Mail

When it comes to marketing your business you have several options, this article compares two types of marketing – email marketing vs direct mail. Learn the benefits of email marketing, direct mail, and group text messaging.

Benefits of Email Marketing vs. Direct Mail

Compared to paper mail, known as direct mail, it’s easy to copy and paste from an email or click on a link (only do this if you are sure it is safe to do so and it’s not a phishing email), neither of which is handy from direct mail. Trying to type a link from a direct mail marketing brochure or letter into a browser can be a challenge unless it’s a very, very simple URL. With Email marketing you can make money online much faster than via direct mail.

Follow through can be quick and easy with email marketing. Moving from an email advertising a product you’re interested in to getting more information on a website and actually ordering the product and receiving an email confirmation can be a very quick and seamless operation. 

It’s also easier to dispose of unwanted email marketing materials. There’s no worry about having to shred the part with your identifying information or making sure it gets into recycling instead of the garbage, and putting it out for collection. You just click ‘delete,’ and the email marketing garbage is gone.

Benefits of Direct Mail Marketing vs. Email Marketing

For merchants whose customers do not have access to computers or the Internet or who prefer direct mail, as well as merchants who use direct mail to include enclosures, email marketing just doesn’t have the appeal. Merchants sending return address labels, surveys, contest materials, or specialized discount items—such as the car keys sent by automobile sellers or scratch off playing cards—need to be physically handled by the customer and can only be sent via direct mail.

Direct mail can also be addressed to multiple parties in a household who can share it, whereas sharing an email can be more complicated process. For items like insurance policies, bank accounts with multiple holders, and other multi-person accounts, direct mail may be a good approach.

Direct mail is also useful for content requiring more thought. Seeing an advertisement for a book or other small item, one might purchase it immediately. Very large items or expensive items require time and thought, and the physical presence of the paper serves as a reminder to come back and make a decision.

Other Alternatives

Even though text messages are being used more and more frequently, email marketing still holds its own. Why? Well, for one thing – the length. For another thing, the fact that people expect to store at least some of the email for future reference for quite a long time—this gives it a greater sense of importance (but not urgency). Email marketing with a coupon is easy to print from most people’s main computer, which is often attached to a printer. But there may be times when SMS text messages—individual or group—make more sense and are less expensive. They also allow more control over delivery time, and are found by many customers to be less interruptive.

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