The development of the internet and the services available has turned people into specialist media consumers who know what content should look like, without digging too deeply into language or purpose. Respecting and engaging with potential clients is far more meaningful and cost effective than spamming and regularly sending pieces of branded content. Comparing email marketing and direct mailing shows that people are far more likely to engage with a business via a direct mailing piece than an emailed piece, but what are the main advantages of direct mail over email marketing?
When people receive an email, they usually judge the entire piece based upon the subject, where it places in their inbox (primary, social or promotions) and what the first line of text says. It usually seems very general, and brand heavy. They habitually approve or reject messages without full awareness of what the text says. However, if you put the same copy onto a piece of mail, it automatically becomes far more personalised, and looks more appealing. Because it’s something physical they can keep and it has their name printed on it, as opposed to digitally added, they feel far more valued and are more likely to read on. For example, if a restaurant sent an email saying “just opened, please find attached our menu” with a list of the foods they do, it may be looked at, and then more emails will be received, and it will be moved further down in the inbox. If that menu was sent however, the potential customer would keep that menu handy, feel inclined to read it and may be persuaded to try something, as well as feel that the business is being proactive by sending a piece of mail directly to them.
Post is far more visually impactful than mail, as it can only be seen in the format you choose, not on a phone, computer, tablet or another device. It is easy to make an email look cheap and ‘spammy’ without trying, and although the cost of emailing is cheaper, the end product explains why. The conversions and returns are far less with emails, and it’s less persuasive than direct mailing. When trying to gain customers, it is important to not seem fake or low-cost, but make the customer feel as if they are correct in receiving it. The internet has become a haven for spammers and phishing emails, and this has eroded and adapted social perceptions of the validity of certain emails from first glance. It is important to seem genuine and make what is being sent not seem out of place. With mailing, this is a whole lot easier, as on average as person receives ten times more emails than mail a day, so it is therefore far less likely to be discarded.
Print is a way to acknowledge customers as actual human beings, instead of just electronic entities or data. Personalisation seems smoother and more in line with others when in mail than email, and can be achieved through handwritten sections, high quality letterheads, name references, image personalisation (where images are pre-set to be changed depending on who’s receiving them), synthetic personalisation and many other techniques. The fact that search engines and social media accumulates data and customises banner ads according to this search history means people have a dislike for pop-ups, reoccurring adverts, or things which resemble paid promotion. Sometimes less is more and knowing about your audience is key before setting a huge demographic which will engage hardly anyone. If your message approaches people from the cheapest and easiest platform and looks cheap and easy, the recipient is going to think it is cheap and easy. Sending emails to a large amount of people isn’t ever a bespoke way to appeal to an audience. Emailing is fantastic for keeping previous customer up to date with new products, or for sending out a newsletter saying what’s been happening within the month, special limited offers for past clients etc. It is much more of an updating tool rather than a persuasive tool. Email marketing and direct mailing work well together, but direct mailing brings in the customers, and email marketing keeps the customers.
Fancy attachments on emails aren’t seen as trustworthy, and people are suspicious. No matter how much you ‘clickbait’, people can easily disregard the email thinking its risky. However, the more you add on mail is seen as bonuses, not red flags. Consumers are far more likely to bond with the business if sent, not emailed. You can customise every part of your direct mail, from envelope colour, to font, and make the three-dimensional piece of mail come alive. Let your creative flare run wild- the more eye-catching and intriguing, the more likely it is to stick in the person’s mind. The styles are endless, unlike email-lithographic mail, postcards, letters etc, which are all great, unique ways to capture the attention of the recipient. Why not include freebies like pens, stickers, coasters etc? They are a great way to stand out and can’t be done via email.
Standing out amongst competitors is important, regardless of industry and purpose. Doing something different is a significant, separative factor against your rivals- anyone can send an email. Direct mailing is something special and connects with customers on a deeper, emotional level, and provides a higher response rate. You can deliver your business into the hands of your potential clients, literally, and it would be guaranteed to reach someone. Think about how many emails are checked, discarded or unread, and how many accounts are inactive. Although the cost of email marketing is lower, looking more bespoke, seeming more professional, and appealing to more people is the way to grow your business. Research shows that direct mailing is still one of the most profitable forms of marketing available, but not many businesses utilise it. Make the most of the opportunity to reach new customers and create a lasting impression by using Mail & Print’s professional services.
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