Before the vast use of the internet to reach potential customers, direct mail was king of the marketing world. It’s true a lot of business marketing and advertising strategists are adding more online campaigns to their mix these days, making traditional offline campaigns seem outdated and ineffective. But with the wide use of the internet and it’s low to no cost to enter, is offline marketing and direct mail really dead?
Just the other day as I sat outside, I noticed the majority of my neighbors coming home only to stop by the communal mailbox to grab their snail mail. If what lands in that mailbox is so unimportant, so unexciting to receive and so ineffective as sales pieces, why do we still stop at our mailbox each day to see what’s in there?
Has Direct Mail Been Replaced?
There has been an ongoing debate about whether or not direct mail is dead. The jury is still out despite the “hyper” hype about the internet, email marketing and how much less it costs to send virtual mail. After all, it isn’t so much about the overall cost of a campaign as it is the effectiveness of the piece in relation to the cost. You could send 100 emails to customers with little or not sales or you could send a direct mail piece that yields a high return. Is your goal to get traffic and make sales or is it to flood cyberspace with free campaigns that bring in zero dollars.
Email Versus Direct Mail
Email is supposed to be the preferred way of getting your advertising message out to masses of people on your list. It is supposed to be cheaper to execute, doesn’t irritate the recipient by the ugly “junk” mail that lands in their real mailbox and is more efficient because you can measure ROI metrics within minutes of doing an email blast.
The assumption, however, is that since you sent an email campaign, it must mean that everyone on your list opens it and reads the clever words you’ve used to entice them to buy. Yet, emails can go unopened and they can go unread – possibly much easier than direct mail. At least with direct mail, the recipient has to take the piece inside his house to throw it away. At least he’s read it.
Direct Mail Still Gets High Marks
One key factor as to why direct mail works better than email is the list. While you can rent a prospect list in the online world, there’s a 20 percent undeliverability rate from these online lists for the internet marketing crowd. Reason is there are more spam filters, corporate firewalls are set even tighter to keep out even legitimate emails and there’s a higher frequency of the recipient to mass delete emails for fear of email overload. Direct mail, on the other hand gets almost a 95 percent deliverability rate because good list managers scrub their lists on a regular basis.
Finally, with email, you only get about two seconds or less to get the attention of the receiver or it gets deleted. Direct mail gives you a good five seconds or more to catch the attention of the receiver. That’s huge!
Your marketing strategies should include a mix of online and offline campaigns in order to reach maximum effectiveness. The fact is direct mail still works and it works well.