The challenges that marketers face today with which medium will give the best response can be overpowering. We recently compared the results from direct mail campaigns, email campaigns, and a combination of both to determine the best marketing strategy.
Many marketing experts are confronted with constant changes in technology and are gripped with what works best when trying to grow a business. Along with the fact that many marketers are quick to take sides and argue that one method works better than the other. Regardless of whose right, pushing one channel over the other can cause businesses to miss out on potential customers.
What is the best option? According to the Epsilon’s 2012 Channel Preference study, 73% of Americans said they receive a lot of emails that they simply do not open and 62% said they enjoyed checking the mailbox for postal mail. More importantly, direct mail is more accurate and 95% deliverable, whereas quality email addresses are difficult to acquire. We have found that the most effective results come from bringing the two together.
After analyzing all new customers from the past year, we show that using direct mail to drive consumers to a company’s web page and follow up with an email campaign gives the best repeat business. Direct mail alone has seen a decrease in response over the last several years, yet still out performed emails. In fact, email campaigns alone had the lowest response rate of all. Why? People are less receptive to emails due to spam and do not feel threatened by “junk” mail.
There is no doubt that email marketing is an important part of the mix, but not as a stand-alone in a time where consumers are bombarded with unsolicited emails. The strategy for any business is to make an impact on a targeted audience. The consensus is email is cheap and fast and direct mail is expensive and slow, but direct mail has the power to target more effectively. Direct mail is the key that unlocks the door when obtaining new customers and paves the way for email.
Look at Google who has a tremendous amount of exposure, yet they use direct mail to promote their Adwords so businesses will advertise with them. This just goes to show that integrated marketing campaigns work. Let direct mail campaigns invite email in to reach new customers.
Marketers that approach a new prospect with a direct mail piece to introduce themselves and follow with an email blast will have an edge on their competitors.