The Difference Between Email Marketing & Direct Mail

The Difference Between Email Marketing & Direct MailThe world of marketing can sometimes be a little confusing. Today, thanks to the internet and mobile devices, there are more channels through which you can promote your business than ever before.

Online, there’s social media, advertising, SEO, email, among many others. Offline, there’s signage, word-of-mouth, telesales, direct mail, just to name a few.

More and more companies are integrating their online and offline marketing efforts. It is wise, especially when you consider the different ways your target audience can discover and interact with you.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the difference between email marketing and direct mail.

Email Marketing

According to Salesforce, 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. When marketers say there’s money in the list, they’re not kidding.

Email, also known as electronic mail, is a mode of direct communication. Unlike direct mail, you don’t receive anything physically. Email is delivered to your digital inbox where you can go to view, forward, and respond to messages – personal or promotional.

Most businesses do – and should – use email marketing software to manage their subscriber list and send campaigns. MailChimp, AWeber, and iContact are just a few options worth considering. Using the right software ensures that you’re complying with relevant regulations. It also makes email marketing a lot easier to do effectively.

Email services provide you with the option to create “opt-in boxes” for your website. These are simple forms that people can use to sign up to receive email communication from you. These opt-in forms can be placed anywhere on your site, but you can also boost their effectiveness by using them in conjunction with landing pages (pages developed with a single goal in mind).

Using email marketing services, you can also send email campaigns to your subscriber base. It is where the power of email marketing lies. Email is the only way you can have direct contact with your audience online. By adding value to them and earning their trust, you can continually market to them and share your latest offers.

Direct Mail

According to Compu-Mail, 56% of customers find print marketing to be the most trustworthy type of marketing.

You should be pretty familiar with direct mail marketing already. Whenever you receive a piece of print advertising in your mailbox, it’s direct mail. You probably receive mail like this daily.

Despite the growing awareness of digital and online marketing practices, print marketing can still be an incredibly effective way of reaching your target audience. Fewer businesses are using it, which means there’s a better chance of standing out. And any company that’s still using direct mail is almost certainly getting some return on investment.

To find direct marketing services in your region, all you need to do is search for “city name + direct marketing” (replace “city name” with the name of your hometown) in Google. They can help you design, print, and send your print ad to your prospects. But if you have an existing database of customers, and you’ve collected their contact information, you can also design ads in-house, get them printed up, and send them out to your customer list.

The least expensive way to boost your profits is to re-engage existing customers instead of always going out and finding new leads and prospects. A healthy balance is essential for businesses of all sizes.

Using Email Marketing & Direct Mail Simultaneously

Email marketing and direct mail can be complementary to each other, so long as the lines of communication are open between your different departments, and you plan accordingly. If your email person is not talking to your direct mail person, for example, you could end up sending mixed messages to your customers and prospects. As you can imagine, that could be counterproductive and inefficient.

But here’s just one way your email and direct mail campaigns could intersect and work together synergistically:

You could send an email to make your subscribers aware of the promotion you’re having. You could then follow it up with a direct mail campaign as a reminder to your customers to take advantage of a limited-time promotion.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to think of email as the digital counterpart of direct mail, and direct mail as the physical counterpart of email. And in a way, they are. But it’s also essential to understand the differences and play to the strengths of each medium.

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