Enduring favorites: email and direct mail

Because of the economy, many marketers are cutting back on advertising expenditures. However, in a recent poll of marketers, Target Marketing researchers found that direct mail marketing and email marketing were by far the most preferred marketing methods for attracting and retaining customers. Both of these methods provided the best return on investment. eMarketer reported the breakdown in the chart below.
eMarketer chart
You would think that direct mail, especially in comparison to email, would be considered old-hat. But that’s simply not the case, according to researchers. eMarketer reported this month that the number of direct mail offers sent out to US customers increased by 17% in 2007, and four out of five of the top direct mail sending industries — auto, insurance, credit card, and telecom — increased their mailings.

Who sends email? Easy. Two industries dominate the email platform: banking and travel. Combined, they are responsible for 80% of commercial email.

Just how effective is email marketing? Um, can you say, very? A study this month found that half of consumers made an online purchase last year as a result of permission-based email marketing. Email marketing was found to be second in influence only to customer reviews on websites, as determined by a February 2008 study and about equal in influence to search results. That’s REALLY influential!

The key to keeping email subscribers? Making sure your list is completely permission-based AND delivering relevant content to your subscribers. Fail at that, and expect them to hit the “unsubscribe” button.

Old school, new school — Fletcher Prince designs and implements direct mail and email marketing campaigns.

About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a mom, teacher, and blogger. Her blogs include Autumn in Virginia, Cool Yule Blog and You Can't Make This Stuff Up, among others. She is also the creator of "Living Well With Autism," an online resource for caregivers of children, teens, and adults with autism and related special needs.

Posted on April 3, 2009, in Direct Mail Tips, Email Marketing Tips. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. While many people try to choose between e-mail marketing and Direct Mail, it’s important to remember that instead of having to choose one over the other why not integrate the two and add them both to your marketing mix.

    In a study conducted by the U.S. Postal Service, 41 percent of Americans shop using both catalogs and the Internet. Studies show that consumers who interact with brands over multiple media channels display more loyalty and spend 30 percent more than those who shop using a single media channel.

    Ultimately, Direct Mail complements, not competes, with your other marketing activities to reach your audience, motivating them to respond. Blending the two is a more powerful marketing strategy that helps any business achieve high-impact results. Don’t think of it as mailbox vs. inbox, but rather as Mail driving consumers to your Web site.

    Rod DeVar
    Manager, Direct Mail
    United States Postal Service

  2. Thank you so much for your comment, Rod, and for adding tremendous value to this blog post!

    I am a big supporter of using email marketing and direct mail concurrently in a complementary way.

    This was really useful information for all of us, and I will be sure to pass on these marketing tips and direct mail statistics.

    Please feel free to share more tips anytime! Nice to have you on the blog. 🙂

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