Cormac Reynolds || socialmediaweek.org
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Email has long since been considered as a marketing medium that provides maximum reach for minimal investment and has served as an essential element of many a marketing campaign across any and all industries.
However Direct mail, whilst having been subject to somewhat of a falling out of favor over the past few years is beginning to see a resurgence, and is proving to be particularly popular for those who are harnessing this medium in new and re-thought ways.
These two mediums are widely different. Offering contrasting benefits and being suited to sometimes completely different audiences, industries or particular campaigns. So the question then is how you choose between them for your marketing needs, and, when all’s said and done, who comes out as king of the marketing mediums: Direct mail or Email?
Understanding the pros and cons of each marketing medium
Email is cheap, fast and efficient
Email is seriously cheap and although you should spend time in carefully crafting your copy (and feature it within a sales focused email design) it still makes for a great form of marketing with one of the best ROIs out there.
Email is marvelous for data analysis
Not only can your message be delivered immediately, you also benefit from results that are fully analyzable through email campaign management software (perfect for honing future campaigns). Data feedback can include bounce, open and click through rates, to name but a few.
Spamming is making it harder for everyone
Unfortunately the email marketing landscape has been made pretty bleak in recent years owing to a tidal wave of spam that consumers are, quite simply, sick of. This makes it more difficult for the email marketer as they do battle with inbox authenticity and receivers who are increasingly short on time.
Building a solid email list takes time
Gone are the days of buying cheap contact lists and expecting the world. Today you must build email lists through incentives, pre-approved permission and direct sign ups. Today such tasks take time and effort.
Email is pretty limiting
Email features plenty of limitations upon the creativity and despite advances this remains a medium that can generally only deliver moderately good looking materials.
Direct Mail: Pros
Direct mail is more flexible than ever before
From including printed QR codes which can take your future shopper direct to your website with a scan of a smartphone, through to printing on irresistible discounts on postcards, direct mail really is more flexible than ever before.
Direct mail is seeing impressive modern interaction
Research has found that direct mail is no longer the dull junk mail marketing medium of old and today clever marketers are successfully harnessing this method for encouraging social media activity, downloads, online purchases and audience/business rapport.
Direct mail can provide all the space that you need
In comparison to email direct marketing provides all the space that you need to tell your story, whatever it may be.
Direct mail provides the platform to convey and encourage emotion
Email users are in a rush. They may be checking their emails whilst commuting, or squeezing it in at lunch or before dinner. They don’t have time for emotions. However direct mail can provide readers with both space and time to read the materials in their own time and so you’re far freer with what can be expressed.