My thoughts about Direct Mail:
Direct mail is good to reach your targeted market.
It is extremely flexible and can include a wide variety of items, sizes and colors.
It is also easy to personalize.
Your name and phone number is located on top of the letter or ad.
On the negative side, Direct Mail is expensive and can wind up in the garbage.
It depends on your product or services but both can be valuable tools.
My company uses direct mail to attract new clients. On every direct mail piece we put a web address where people can download for free an informtaional report on something of interest to them; i.e. how the new healthcare legislation will effect small business owners. T o receive the report, they must eneter their email address.
This allows us to legally collect emails and follow-up with people.
We email a newsletter to our prospective client database.
We tried a mass email blast to over 100,000 in the past and it was a disastor. We used a company advertising a list that was compiled of "double opt-in" names to make sure we were in compliance but the list was still full of bad emails. We received too many complaints to make it worth pursuing again - even at the cheap cost of email delivery.
So, for us we cast a wide net with dierct mail and reel them in with email.
Best of luck.
Smart move! Many people get stuck when deciding which way to use to build the email list. Should it be Negative Opt-Out, Opt-In or Double Opt-In? For businesses who are eager to build up an email list within a short time period, Negative Opt-In would be a natual choice. However, it can cause a lot of troubles concerning the large amount of bad addresses and complaints you may get. Double Opt-In can make things much better but as Bridge said, when the list is massive, problems still come. Using direct mails as the tool to fliter the list sounds really brilliant to me.
I think people have learned to easily throw away ads and spam equally at this point, so I would say instead of snail mail or email, you would need to send interesting mail. Something that is different and won't get thrown away so easily. Otherwise there is a good chance it will just get chucked and you are wasting time and.or money.
Have you ever done a direct mail campaign? Of coures a lot is thrown away. That is the nature of the beast. It is a mass approach versus a targeted one. It would be nice to customize each letter or make them "interesting" as you say but that is not really the point of the meduim.
Direct mail works good for waht is is suppose to.
I would suggest if you do a direct mail caampaign that you:
1) Track you exact per piecee expense (design, production, mailing, etc)
2) Track the results (leads, sales etc.)
It needs to be measured so that you can improve it over time.
look into your postage options - the government does not make anything easy - do you go bulk, first class, or any of the number of other optionss they have.
Personally, I choose a "live" stamp and have baarcoding put on the bottom of the envelope (rather than right below the address line) so that it looks a little less like "junk" mail.
You also need to know your business. In my work, If I send 2,000 pieces and get 3 clients it is a huge succcess that pays for itself many times over.
Great answers so far!
Direct mail is more expensive, environmentally unfriendly and difficult to track. With that said, with the high volume of spam, email newsletters and circulars that we receive in our inbox every day, direct mail has value.
The problem with email marketing is that many businesses do not use it to its fullest potential. Quite often a single message will be sent out to a large volume of email addresses without any segmentation.
My company works with quite a few small businesses on projects that involve email marketing, and it is always our advice to split email lists into smaller groups, which allows them to send more personalized messages. This results in higher open, click and conversion rates.
If you need any advice, I would be happy to help.
It all depends on your marketing budget, market research, your product or service, and your target market. Both Email marketing and Direct mail works best with your warm market (you have already had some kind of interaction and they know like and trust you.) and should be part of an overall marketing strategy.
Both can be effective if they are used the right way. They each have pros and cons however the more creative you can get the better your marketing will stand out from the rest regardless of what marketing method you use. Just do not rely on just one or two marketing methods. You will what a combination of marketing methods used the right way, planed out, and finally test test test. If you are not testing and tracking your marketing, you are just wasting your money.
Thanks for the replies guys!
I am impressed by the almost equal division of feedback about which is more effective...
Personally, I find snail mail to catch my attention more than e-mail blasts. Most of the time, either my Anti-Spam Filters pick up the e-mail blasts and move them directly to my trash folder or I just hit th delete button without paying them much attention. However, with snail mail, there is an actual tangible item in my hand and chances are I'm going to give it at least "some" attention before throwing it away. Catchy information on the envelope may get me to open it and read it. Banks are notorious for this. They send you an advertisement with FREE money written on the front. Who doesn't want free money from a bank? lol. Even though I haven't acted on any of the offers (because I am quite satisfied with my banking relationship), I almost always read it.
Just my two cents, and again, I know it keeps the division of feedback there. Just thought I'd add to it.
I'm starting thinking about the reason why people are too mean to give any attention to emails nowadays and I guess I got something here - value. Lif in the modern society is busy, and what people care about is always "value". Snail mail, as a real mail printed on a piece of paper, has some certain value from the moment it's made, no matter how its content may look like. However, as an email, the only thing that can be "big" enough to count as "value" is its content. So as we can see here, a snail mail is born with a higher value than an email, which means unless you can provide some real content to make your emails valuble, you can never get enough attention through email marketing.
With the development of the Internet, we are embracing the modern life with almost everything going digital. I read about the history of Email Marketing recently and have been thinking about traditional mails & emails a lot. It seems to me that traditional mails always grab more attention from me because they are more tangible, while emails are becoming more and more unimportant in my mail box...
I'm curious about what you guys think about it.