Direct mail marketing and email marketing both have their advantages and disadvantages. But, both are an efficient and cost-effective way to find new customers, make new sales, up-sell to current customers, and stay connected with existing customers. And best of all, both of these marketing methods can be easily implemented into the marketing plans of even the smallest business on a very tight budget.
What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn the advantages and disadvantages of direct mail marketing and email marketing.
2. You will learn how you can decide which method is best for your small business.
3. You will learn the benefits of using both methods at the same time.
Small businesses cannot ignore the power of direct mail marketing and email marketing. Of course, both have their advantages and disadvantages. But, both are an efficient and cost-effective way to find new customers, make new sales, up-sell to current customers, and stay connected with existing customers. And best of all, both of these marketing methods can be easily implemented into the marketing plans of even the smallest business on a very tight budget.
Here is a quick overview and comparison of both methods:
A. DIRECT MAIL MARKETING
(Using a mail service to physically send your marketing materials)
Direct mail marketing is NOT dead. It is still as powerful as it has ever been. One of the best things about direct mail marketing is that it has the ability to get your message into the hands of your prospects. Check out Lynda.com for great online video courses about direct mail.
1. Direct Mail Marketing Recipients Are More Receptive
Many people are still not using email. Plus the fact that people will most likely spend more time reading a post card or letter than they will an email. Getting a beautiful post card or envelope into the recipient’s hand can be a powerful tool. As long as you design your marketing material so that it catches the reader’s eye, they will read your message.
So much of the mail marketing pieces that arrive in a person’s mailbox are so poorly designed, that much of it gets ignored and quickly shredded. Make your direct mail material stand out from the rest, and they will read your message.
2. Direct Mail Marketing Can Become Expensive
If you are not targeting the correct audience, you’ll be wasting time and money. Sending marketing materials directly to specific people at specific addresses will keep your costs way down, and greatly improve your chances of making a sale.
3. Direct Mail Marketing Can Be Time Consuming
Building a mail list, and designing amazing marketing materials to send out, takes time, thought, and money. But as a small business, you must always be adding to and improving your mail list and marketing materials – right from day one. Many small businesses, home-based businesses, and professional practices can live or die based on how well their mail list and marketing materials are perceived by the recipients.
B. EMAIL MARKETING
(Using email to electronically send your marketing materials)
Email marketing is amazingly cheap, quick, and easy to implement, but it will not be replacing direct mail for a very long time. One of the best things about email is that it is trackable. This data can be used to analyze open rates, clicked links, and conversion details. All of this data can help you fine-tune your email content and message. Check out MailChimp.com , which has twenty free books about email on their website.
1. Email Marketing Is Very Inexpensive
You can easily start an email list and not spend one cent. But getting email addresses from anyone beyond your current customers can be very time-consuming. But eventually you will build a larger list. Then you’ll need an email service company to manage and send your email messages. Many of these service companies have a free plan to manage up to a certain amount of addresses. Then the monthly fee jumps up to $50 – $100 per month.
2. Email Marketing Is Very Fast
Once your emails are designed and set-up, you can send out a mass email in a few minutes. Your recipients will start opening your email message a few minutes after you sent it. You will then start to get hits on your website a few minutes later. Amazingly fast.
3. Email Marketing Is Very Convenient
Providing clickable links to your products and services makes an email very convenient for the recipients. These links allow the recipients to quickly understand what your email is trying to tell them, and sell to them. This speed is one of the major reasons most consumers and marketers enjoy emails.
So What’s Best for Your Small Business?
Don’t be afraid to use both methods at the same time. Direct mail might work better for some of your prospects and current customers. Email might work better for the others. Each method has several similarities, and several important differences. You will need to decide which method, or both, is the best for your small business.
The reality of the situation is that direct mail and email marketing are a perfect match for each other. Each method makes up for the shortcomings of the other. Used together they create a powerful tool to use in your marketing plan.
Here Are Some Questions To Help You Decide
1. Is your communication time-sensitive?
2. Do you have a budget to work with?
3. How much explanation do your prospects require?
4. Do you have a good mail list for one method or both?
5. Have you already asked your current customers to join your mail and email list?
6. Are some, most, or all of your customers online and computer savvy?
7. Do your customers and prospects prefer one method over the other?
8. Maybe your business can best use a lot of email marketing, and a small amount of direct mail?
9. Or maybe the other way around?
Deciding to use direct mail, or email, or both, will take some experimentation and time on your part. But I believe that you should try to use both methods at the same time as much as possible or practical. For some products, or services, direct mail might be more appropriate. For others, it might be email. You’ll need to decide which would work best for your business’s needs. And as your business grows and matures, you’ll be able to more accurately fine-tune how you use each method.
Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. Are you able to use both direct mail and email marketing for your business?
2. If not, why? If yes, how do you accomplish this?
Let me know in the comments section below.
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• This article is also appears in Graphics Arts Magazine
• This article is also appears on Avanti Systems’ blog
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• This article is also posted on Business2Community.com
• This article is also posted on Yahoo Aabaco Small Business
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