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Ask Our Experts – Direct Mail or Email? Yes!

Question: Direct Mail or Email?

Answer: This is a question I get asked all of the time. Should I still keep doing direct mail, or should I save money and shift over to email? The answer is yes…to both. Each one has their strengths and weaknesses. But in order to maximize the effectiveness of both acquiring new customers and keeping current ones, it’s critical that you not only use both email and direct mail, but probably other marketing media as well.

Too many companies today rely on just email to stay in touch with and retain their existing customers. Unfortunately, most retention email programs only get a 20% open rate, along with a much lower response rate. This means you’re only communicating with 20% or 1 in 5 of your existing customers. To make matters worse, recipients that do open your emails tend to be the same ones every time.

And here’s the kicker…these people are being communicated to…most likely by your competitors.

For the last two years we have been in a retracting economy, or a monthly decrease in spending and business taking place. This means that if you gain a dollar in revenue, it comes at the expense of your competitors and vice-versa. Basically, you live and somebody else dies. A brutal thought, but it’s reality. Do you really want to leave 80% of your customer base uncovered for your competitors to go after?

By using postcards or self-mailers, you can achieve an almost 100% brand communication. Since these mail pieces don’t need to be opened, nearly every recipient will at least see the name of your business. Even if they don’t respond right away, you’re still creating an impression in their mind, thus giving you a better opportunity to maintain “top of mind” recognition.

Depending on how often you send out emails, you should systematically combine both email and direct mail on a monthly or at least quarterly basis. Another tactic that has been very successfully with our clients is using the open metrics provided by your email delivery platform. Simply send out a direct mail piece to recipients that did not open their email or that you got a hard or soft bounce back from. This gives you 100% coverage every time you communicate.

Modern Postcard can now help you with both your direct mail and email programs. If you would like more information, please give us a call and talk with one of our sales consultants. They will help you keep your customers covered and your competition shut out.


Keith GoodmanKeith Goodman, VP Corporate Solutions, a 20-year veteran of direct mail marketing, has helped companies such as IBM, Hughes, Avery and Amway increase the profitability of their direct mail programs. He’s spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences around the country, helping thousands of people get better results and greater ROI for their marketing dollars.

Call a Direct Marketing Specialist at 800.959.8365.

This article was published in January 2011, so the estimated statistics presented are a general reflection of that that time period.

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