Direct Mail Marketing Vs Email Marketing: What’s Best for Your Small Business?

Small businesses cannot ignore the power of direct mail marketing and email marketing. Of course, both have their advantages and disadvantages. But, both are an efficient and costeffective way to find new customers, make new sales, up-sell to current customers, and stay connected with existing customers. And best of all, both of these marketing methods can be easily implemented into the marketing plans of even the smallest business on a very tight budget. Here is a quick overview and comparison of both methods.

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing is not dead. It is still as powerful as it has ever been. One of the best things about direct mail marketing is that it has the ability to get your message into the hands of your prospects.

1. Recipients More Receptive

Many people are still not using email. Plus the fact that people will most likely spend more time reading a post card or letter than they will an email. Getting a beautiful post card or envelope into the recipient’s hand can be a powerful tool. As long as you design your marketing material so that it catches the reader’s eye, they will read your message. So much of the mail marketing pieces that arrive in a person’s mailbox is so poorly designed, that much of it gets ignored. Make your piece stand out from the rest, and they will read your message.

2. Can Become Expensive

If you are not targeting the correct audience, you will be wasting time and money. Sending marketing materials directly to specific people at specific addresses will keep your costs way down, and greatly improve your chances of making a sale.

3. Can Be Time Consuming

Building a mail list, and designing amazing marketing materials to send out, takes time, thought, and money. But as a small business, you must always be adding to and improving your mail list and marketing materials. Right from day one. Many small businesses, home-based businesses, and professional practices will live or die based on how good their mail list and marketing materials are.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is amazingly cheap, quick, and easy to implement, but it will not be replacing direct mail for a very long time. One of the best things about email is that it is trackable. This data can be used to analyze open rates, clicked links, and conversion details. All of this data can help you fine-tune your email content and message.

1. Very Inexpensive

You can easily start an email list and not spend one cent. But getting email addresses from anyone beyond your current customers can be very time-consuming. But eventually you will build a larger list. Then you will need an email service company to manage and send your email messages. Many of these service companies have a free plan to manage up to a certain amount of addresses.

2. Very Fast

Once your emails are designed and set-up, you can send out a mass email in a few minutes. Your recipients will start opening your email message a few minutes after you sent it. You will start to get hits on your website a few minutes later. Amazingly fast.

3. Very Convenient

Providing clickable links to your products and services makes an email very convenient for the recipients. These links allow the recipients to quickly understand what your email is trying to tell them, and sell them. This speed is one of the major reasons most of us enjoy emails.

What’s Best for Your Small Business?

Don’t be afraid to use both methods at the same time. Direct mail might work better for some of your prospects and current customers. Email might work better for the others. Each method has several similarities, and several important differences. You will need to decide which method, or both, is the best for your small business. The reality of the situation is that direct mail and email marketing are a perfect match for each other. Each method makes up for the shortcomings of the other. Used together they create a powerful tool to use in your marketing plan.

Here Are Some Questions To Ask Yourself

Is your communication time-sensitive? Do you have a budget to work with? How much explanation do your prospects require? Do you have a good mail list for one method or both? Have you already asked your current customers to join your mail and email list? Are some, most, or all of your customers online?

5 Tips to Achieve Measurable Results From Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns

Effective direct mail marketing brings new leads and more business; good results and return on investment are possible. While online campaigns are getting a lot of buzz, the growth in technology has not hindered direct mail marketing. Instead, the opportunities are now enhanced. Here we lay out 5 ways you can implement a successful direct marketing campaign that will generate leads.

1. Provide a Link to Your Website

You may be using traditional paper (mass and/or trade print) advertising, but that does not mean you can’t integrate this into your online marketing campaigns. Not only should you provide a link to your website in your direct mail piece, but you can also provide an incentive to do so, such as a coupon placed on a specific page that the URL links to. This page can also include a sign-up form for your email mailing list, offering future company news, coupons, and discounts.

Keep in mind modern consumers are more likely to find your company through an online search. Anything you put in print advertising can be duplicated online, to reach a different audience.

2. Enhance the Presentation

With email marketing, you are limited solely to a single sentence in the subject line, and no matter how strong your headline, it’s possible that it will be viewed as spam and end up never being seen. In a print advertisement, you can incorporate eye-catching logos or pictures, or use your company’s colors to make the piece stand out – all visible with one glance. A compelling message and graphics makes it less likely that your ad will end up in a recycling bin.

You can mix your advertisement up with fonts of different sizes and styles to showcase the particular areas of graphics and copy you want to emphasize. Depending on the piece and packaging, you could even offer a small promotional item that would be useful – such as sticky notes, pens, letter openers, and anything else the recipient might use when they most likely would think of your product.

3. Make the Content Personal to the Consumer

Take the time to study and learn about your target customer, and then customize your message with offers and information that would appeal specifically to them – right down to the packaging. Your content should directly address their needs, desires, and concerns. You can even further segment your recipients and send different pieces (with adjusted content) based on each segment. Don’t forget to include a powerful and compelling call to action, as well as an easy way to get more information and/or contact you.

4. Work With Other Companies

Consider product placements on TV and in movies. The product supplier is paying for the opportunity to “star” in a TV show. They do this not just for increased visibility, but also for the direct access to the viewing audience – an audience that already uses similar products and already has an established level of loyalty to the show.

Partnerships between companies are all around us, from the release of a movie (and subsequent merchandise) to the box of brownie mix you buy that showcases a certain name-brand chocolate syrup from another company on its box.

Small businesses can do this, too. A product or service purchase can result in a coupon or discount for a partner company who, in turn, provides the same or similar service for the primary company. This helps promoting both businesses while saving advertising dollars on both sides in the long run.

5. Connect With Your Other Marketing Campaigns

Combining your direct mail marketing program with other channels, such as social media or email marketing, allows for multiple “touches” and an expanded audience. A great example are those mailers you receive that are filled with coupons. Many of these companies concurrently advertise these offers on social media and via email to stimulate interest. A prospective customer may toss the paper coupon but notice the email from the business and take action (or vice-versa).

Another option is to use personalized URLs (PURLs) on your direct mail pieces. Your printed piece provides a link to a webpage (and/or a QR code) that would be set up specifically for that individual (or segment). When the recipient visits this page, they see a personal greeting and information specifically customized just for them.

In order for your cross-media marketing campaign to be most effective, make sure that your message is consistent across all channels, meaning that all offers and claims about your business are the same in every “location”.

There is no doubt that email promotions and online marketing have their benefits, but direct mail marketing is not just a thing of the past. It is still a rewarding strategy to reach a widespread client base and draw attention to your products and/or services. Consider these tips to make your direct mail marketing efforts more productive.