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Direct Email Marketing vs. Traditional Mail

You’re ready to get the news out about your small business or a new product or service. But what’s the best way to reach your target customers or clients? While traditional direct marketing—getting a piece of mail into homes—may be the first advertising strategy that comes to mind, it doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your business. Direct email marketing, however, can be both more effective and more beneficial to your bottom line.

Direct Email Marketing Has a Higher ROI

This is the biggest benefit—and it affects your business’s bottom line. According to the Direct Marketing Association, direct email marketing has a 4200% ROI for brands in the United States. For every $1 spent on email marketing, brands enjoy an average of $42 in return. In comparison, traditional direct mail marketing only brings in an average of $7 per dollar spent.

As a small business, you likely can’t afford to spend money on marketing efforts that won’t produce a return. That’s huge, and should be reason enough to choose email marketing. Even so, we’ll give you several additional benefits to consider.

Customers Prefer Email

There. We said it. 72% of consumers say direct email marketing is their preferred conduit of communication with companies. Also, consumers may be more willing to hand over their email address to a company rather than an individual. That’s because they know they can easily unsubscribe if they don’t like the content they receive. It’s not as easy, however, to stop direct mailings that come straight to your home or business mailbox. Have you ever tried it? We picture something like this happening, but you can let us know how that goes.

Reach the Right People at the Right Time

You may be able to get that piece of direct mail marketing into a prospective customer’s home or business mailbox, but your message may fall on deaf ears. Maybe your customer is a stay-at-home mom wrangling five kids and groceries while grabbing the mail… and tossing several pieces (including yours!) into the recycling bin. Or maybe you’ve reached the mailbox of someone who lets the mail pile up so high that they never have time to check it thoroughly. Think of all the money wasted on mailings! Those are marketing dollars that would be better spent elsewhere.

You won’t have this issue with direct email marketing. Email allows you to choose the optimal day and time for reaching your audience (or better yet, a segment of your audience). Then, your prospective customers have the choice of whether to engage and read your message now—or wait until they have time. Not to mention, you can also leverage email automation. (We’ll get to that next.)

Here’s the other thing—you can legally send direct mail to anyone, but you can only send email campaigns to those who have opted into your mailing list. How does this make email more compelling? Your prospective and current customers have already told you they want to hear from you. They’re interested, and they may really like you! But direct mail? It can be an unwanted houseguest who arrived while you still have shampoo in your hair.

Minimize Time and Resources with Direct Email Marketing

Direct email marketing will save you valuable time and resources. With email platforms like Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, and Klaviyo, you can have the technology to create email campaigns within minutes. While we believe creating your own custom templates with a full-service email marketing agency drives the most business, these direct email marketing platforms offer drag-and-drop builders and pre-designed email templates for you to create your own messages.

Additionally, the power of automationthe best kept secret in email marketing—makes it possible for you to send direct email marketing campaigns based on triggered events. That means emails are automatically sent when specific events occur. Here are some examples:

  • New customer Ken signs up for your email list, which triggers a “welcome email” introducing your company or services.
  • Customer Dara’s birthday is coming up and you want to offer her a discount as your “gift.” The date in their profile will trigger the birthday message to send.
  • Annie was shopping on your site, but either got distracted or was caught shopping by her boss. She had already loaded products in her shopping cart when she aborted, so it triggers the “abandoned cart” message to send. This will remind her to go back and finish her transaction.

Imagine engaging with your customers in these meaningful ways all without having to lift a finger. Automation is awesome.

More Personalization, Please

No one likes to feel like they’re part of a million (or more), and gone are the days of one-size-fits-all messaging. If you make the prospective customer feel special, like you really know them, they’re more likely to engage with you. In fact, personalized direct email marketing messages deliver six times higher transaction rates, according to Campaign Monitor.

How can you personalize your email campaigns to drive results? Simply including the customer’s first name in the subject line is a strong start (and may increase your open rate by up to 22%). You can also send personalized emails about past purchases that may need refills, birthdays, or tips and tricks to better use the specific product they purchased—just to name a few. Now you’re going from “Hey you,” to “You’re speaking my language.” And you’ll be that much closer to making a sale.

If we’ve convinced you that direct email marketing is the best marketing strategy for your business, it’s time to get started. You can go the DIY route and create your own campaigns, or you can enlist a full-service email marketing agency to help. To discuss this exciting new opportunity with a pro, the first step is to set up a free 20-minute consultation to see if we might be a good fit.

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