Is your organization asking the question 'What is better, Direct Mail or Email?'
Maybe we can help. The are definitely pros and cons to both sides of the question. Let's look at a few of them.
• How many emails do you have in your Inbox right now? better yet, how many of the emails that you are looking for end up in your "Junk Mail". With the increasing robustness of spam filters and mail box security, a very small percentage of the email advertisements that you send are actually seen by your potential customer. In fact, it is estimated that less than 0.01% of unsolicited emails are even seen by the recipient, let alone responded to.
On the other hand, it is estimated that 98% of postal customers check their mailboxes each day, and 77% sort through their mail when they receive it. That is very different than to most "in boxes" that have hundreds of emails and are sorted through to find what is important and then "Select All" - "Delete".
• Speed. The speed of sending and receiving emails is definitely a plus for electronic. If your email is added to the 'safe list' of the recipient there shouldn't be a problem. But, we have all experienced that mad search to find that important email that you know you received but can't find what folder it went into. When a customer holds your piece of mail in their hand, they start to develop a name recognition for your company, an even if they don't respond right then, in the future your name will be remembered.
• Cost. It is obvious that sending an email is less expensive than sending a physical letter, but at what expense. If the email is never received, or received and not read, or sent directly to "Junk", what is the real value of that email, except to make the recipient more frustrated because of the volumes of junk mail they receive every day.
• Enhanced delivery. A direct mail piece has the opportunity to be much more impressive than a simple email. For example, around the Holidays, as soon as you grab your stack of mail, you immediately recognize the Christmas cards that are included. They stand out because they are in a large, colored envelope, with a address which is hand written. These same attributes, that make your Christmas cards stand out, can be applied to direct mail advertising. Mailers can be printed in handwritten looking fonts and envelope and postcards have a wide ranges of sizes available.
• Reception. Most people would think that today's 'millenial' generation, who have grown up with cell phones, laptops, facebook, etc, would prefer electronic communications to postal mail. However, studies have shown that this group actually prefers to receive letters in the mailbox as opposed to an email, because it is out of their ordinary routine.
In Summary: Email is a great way to stay in contact with your current customers but Direct Mail is the better way to obtain new customers and to develop a trusting, long-term relationship with your current customers.