7 Reasons Why Direct Mail Beats Email
Email marketing has grown phenomenally over the years and is now a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. It’s true that email marketing is an incredibly effective way of promoting your business, but how does it compare with direct mail?
For a few years direct mail had fallen out of favour, mainly due to the higher costs involved. The perception is it’s easy to send out thousands of emails at the click of a button, and even if it has a small response rate, it can offer an excellent return on investment.
Recently though, this perception has been challenged and direct mail is now growing at the fastest rate for years. 2018, in particular, appears to be a landmark year for direct mail due to the new GDPR that was introduced in May. The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has placed stringent new rules on how we email customers. Rules that don’t apply so strictly to direct mail. This has resulted in a much higher demand for direct mail and may just see the end of email marketing as we know it.
So, with the spotlight firmly on email marketing and the growth in direct mail, which service is the most effective for marketing in 2018? Here are 8 reasons why we think direct mail is better.
1. Better Open Rates
There’s no doubt about it, the email marketing playing field is saturated. Every day our spam filters are clogged with unwanted emails and it’s becoming second nature to delete emails without even opening them. A good open rate for email is around 24% and it’s likely this ratio will drop each year as emails become even more systematic. Direct mail, on the other hand, has an open rate of around 57.1% and can be even higher.
2. More Personable
One of the reasons why open rates are lower on email is because emails are not personal in any way, shape or form. An email is a digital construct delivered with countless others into our inbox every day. A well-crafted flyer or leaflet, however, is a tangible product we can hold and has a much bigger impact on a human level than an email. This increases the chance of the recipient remembering your company and even making a sale.
3. More Trusted
Emails are increasingly becoming an object of mistrust. Almost every day we read stories about phishing and how some unfortunate recipient has been infected with a virus, spyware or worse. This has caused many of us to have an inherent mistrust of emails, especially if they contain attachments. Printed materials, however, have none of these negative associations. They may be a slight annoyance if they arrive on our doorstep unsolicited, but we don’t have that air of caution when opening one. This again reflects more favourably on your company and increases your chance of gaining a new customer.
4. Bigger, Brighter Delivery
Another issue with emails, is if you are going to decrease your chances of going into the spam box, then your email needs to be as bland as possible. Most email clients will have images switched off by default. This means that even though you have bright colourful images in the body of your email, all the end user sees if grey text and a mass of Xs where your images should be. They then need to override the system by allowing the images to download. A leaflet or flyer on the other-hand and be bright, colourful and contain as many images as you need. You can even get creative with shapes and different font styles. If money isn’t a factor, then the limits of what you can do with direct mail is endless.
5. No GDPR
The GDPR came into force in May 2018 and placed numerous restrictions on email marketing. The main hindrance to email now is that each recipient needs to have explicitly opted in to receive your email. If you send emails without having the full consent of the recipient, then you could be left open to huge fines from the EU. Because of GDPR, we've seen an increase in demand for direct mail and recently a number of charities have lost a huge amount of support due to confusion around GDPR and how it affects emailing.
6. Longer Lifespan
According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) the average lifespan of direct mail is seventeen days. This means that when you send a flyer, leaflet or brochure via direct mail there is a good chance that material will stay in the household for around seventeen days. The average lifespan of an email, however, is just two seconds. Sure, it may be cheaper and easier to send an email, but when you think on average it’ll be gone within two seconds, it makes it a less desirable option.
7. More Effective
Another study carried out by the DMA looked at costs per lead. The bottom line of all forms of marketing is working out your cost per lead. If your accumulated costs per lead is lower than the amount you’ve spent, then you can safely say your campaign has been a success. There are a number of factors involved such as open rates and conversion rates but according to the DMA, direct mail has a more effective customer acquisition at £39.59 cost per lead compared to £42.55 for email. Marketing.
These are just 7 reasons why direct mail marketing is a better option than email marketing. We are sure there are many more, especially when you take into account the versatility of direct mail and the endless forms and shapes your message can take with physical paper as opposed to digital email.
Direct mail may have been on the ropes for a few years but is now growing as fast as ever and we can’t see any signs of it slowing down. If you are considering a direct mail campaign, then contact us here at The Mailing People and one of our experts will guide you through the entire process.
Written by Kristian Harrison, General Manager at The Mailing People. Kristian is an industry professional with over 20 years experience in Direct Mail and Fulfilment.