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Rosie Niblock
Rosie Niblock 15 February 2017

Infographic: Direct Mail vs Email

In the past direct mail has been referred to as dead. So we decided to do some research and compared direct mail to email marketing, it's digital alternative.

It would appear that as our lives become more and more consumed by digital media we start to give less time and attention to the messages we receive. The average lifespan of an email is now just 2 seconds and brand recall directly after seeing a digital ad is just 44%, compared to direct mail which has a brand recall of 75%. 

So why are people still saying direct mail is dead? Whilst print costs have fallen over the past few years, postage costs have risen. This means despite the higher response rate of direct mail, email with it’s low start up costs still receives a larger return on investment. A study from Citi Post Mail states direct mail has an average ROI of seven pounds to each one pound spent, whilst email has an average return of £38.

With triple the return of direct mail email marketing may seem like a no brainer, but both have their strengths and weaknesses. Direct mail is perceived as a more trusted, personal form of marketing, whilst email is seen to be quick and informal. The different values associated with each mail mean customers are very sure about when they want to receive one over another.

Initially it would seem that email is better for generating profit fast, whereas direct mail is better for generating customers. Our overriding conclusion is that direct mail and email work better in support of each other. When creating a direct marketing campaign define your aims and choose the best marketing combination to support them.

DirectMail-vs-Email-Proactive-Marketing.png

Original article posted here.

A good infographic, but I would add from experience, there are other considerations for using email, direct mail and combinations of both, including (a) product, (b) demographics and (c) where a user is in the customer journey and life cycle (part of which is briefly touched upon by the "When to use which" section above).

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