Direct Mail vs Email Marketing

Direct Mail and Email Marketing

Which one is more effective for marketing – Direct mail or Email marketing? In today’s digital world it is common to hear that direct mail marketing is dead, that is, completely ineffective. Many digital marketers neglect direct mail and hide behind the fact that online marketing is taking over. It’s true that social media and online networks are affecting the way companies communicate with their audience and place their products and services. However, that doesn’t mean direct mail marketing is completely shut off. In fact, direct mail is still present and impacts the success of the overall marketing campaign. Here are six important advantages of direct mail marketing that prove this strategy is still worth implementing!

1. No opt-in needed

Unlike with email marketing, you don’t need people’s permission to directly mail them something. That means you don’t have to capture leads and look for subscribers. You can utilize available addresses to send follow up letters to get in touch with customers who didn’t subscribe to your email marketing campaigns. In the same aspect, direct mailing offers the perfect opportunity to reach those who unsubscribed from your email list as well. You can send them a follow up to attempt to get them back on board with your campaigns and business in general.

2. Your mail won’t end up in the spam folder

One of the main reasons why emails remain unopened too frequently is the fact that they often end up in spam email folders. However, this cannot happen if you choose to send direct mail, as all tangible pieces of mail are put in the same mailbox. This increases the chances of customers opening your letters and following up with you. Some digital marketers who claim that emails are more effective marketing channels argue that even direct mail can remain unopened because someone else can pick it up instead of the person it was sent to. However, someone will still see that piece of mail and is likely to pass it on to the person it was meant for. The chances of content being read are still larger than with email marketing. Besides, direct mail cannot carry any viruses, which is another reason people restrain from opening all email messages.

3. Direct mail tends to be more effective

Another reason why you shouldn’t cross direct mail marketing off your list is its prolonged efficiency. Emails get forgotten quickly, primarily because there are dozens, even hundreds of them arriving to one’s inbox daily. Whereas, when it comes to direct mail content, if your letter is eye catching and offers value, chances are the customer is going to keep it until they are ready to respond to you. Some customers may not take action immediately after receiving direct mail but tangible letters and content is more likely to remain in their possession for longer. It is more likely to be noticed and more likely to be kept until the customer decides to utilize it.

4. Easy to get people to pay attention

One of the biggest struggles in marketing is getting people to pay attention to your products and services. The challenges in marketing are also to get people to notice your brand.

There is no doubt that every email sent to a customer has to fight dozens or even hundreds of other emails for that second of attention by the recipient. However, when it comes to direct mail, it is much easier to have your content seen. This is only because you don’t have to fight the competition. While a person can receive more than a hundred emails per day, but may receive only a few mails daily. Therefore, your content has much bigger chances of being seen if you choose to directly mail it to your customer. This is also very important if you are reaching out to a company. Companies in general face way too many emails on a daily basis while they receive much less marketing content directly. That’s where you have a chance to place your content and catch their attention for a while!

5. Credibility and requirement

Specific marketing campaigns cannot be effective without utilizing direct mail marketing strategies. This is because people generally tend to put more trust into a business that reaches out to them through direct mail. While the trust issues in a business differ in the case of regular emails. This is especially important if they are being contacted by a high-end brand or regarding a serious topic. Receiving a tangible piece of mail adds credibility to the cause and builds trust between the company and its audience. A great advantage along with the positive effects of physical mail is inserting an internet location within the content.

6. The packaging

Last but definitely not the least of the direct mail marketing advantages is the fact that you as a sender have the complete freedom to package your mail any way you like. While in email marketing each unopened mail looks almost the same, direct mail offers you the opportunity to create eye-catching packaging and impress the customer even before opening the package. Even though this is a bit costly way to market your content, it is well worth it if you consider the fact that the letter is most likely going to have a 100% opening rate, which is almost impossible to achieve with email campaigns.

All together, it is pretty clear that direct mail marketing is nowhere near to being ineffective. In fact, it is even more effective than email marketing campaigns in some cases. However, the key to overall success of a company’s marketing efforts is combining different strategies into bigger multi-channel marketing strategy. The benefit of having multi-channel marketing strategy is that it increases profits and lead conversions. We don’t agree with the fact that direct mail marketing is dead. Rather, we definitely agree that one should utilize and mix all marketing strategies in order to achieve the desired results. Find out more on how direct mail marketing can better your company’s success, feel free to reach us at

David James

President, Bethesda List Center, Inc + Bethesda Emedia Marketing.