In many different businesses and industries, we’re seeing a “retrograde” trend toward more old fashioned ways of doing things. Just look at vinyl records. Ten years ago, you would have laughed at someone for holding onto those old records, let alone actually using a turntable to play music at home. Today, vinyl is once again a huge business, and all the major record companies have reinvested in it.
Books are another example. With the advent of tablet and e-readers, many people were beginning to wonder if the physical book had reached the end of its life cycle. But industry trends are now showing that physical books won’t go away. In fact, people with “digital fatigue” are beginning to prefer physical books as a respite from the hours of electronic screen time they put in every day.
The difference between email marketing and direct mail marketing is another example in that category, although it’s not really about nostalgia or even convenience. It’s more about results. Businesses have begun to see the limits of what they can do in the digital marketing space. As a result, they’re looking toward “non-digital” forms of marketing in order to punch through and make an impact on their audience.
Email marketing and direct mail marketing remain similar in certain ways, but they are also a number of key differences.
Email marketing is easier than direct mail marketing in one way, and more difficult in another way.
It’s easier because it does not require the physical logistics of professional print quality and design. It does require effective mailing lists, as does direct mail — but these lists are obviously distinct. Acquiring an effective email list may be easier than acquiring a really good physical mailing list that matches (and builds) your demographic. Either way, actually executing a direct mail campaign requires more physical resources.
But direct mail is also easier than email (at least arguably) in one way: Email inboxes are cluttered. The effect of a physical object — in this case, a mailing — has shown itself to be positive in many industries. Postal mail has retained (and will continue to retain) a definite impact in the digital age. That explains why many successful businesses in a wide array of industries are sticking with direct mail marketing as a part of their annual marketing budget.
Both email and direct mail marketing can be used effectively in 21st century marketing — but what works for your business will not necessarily work for the next business, and it’s valuable to have professionals on your side who will give you the solutions you need.
The difference between excellent results and everything else
When it comes to direct mail marketing, getting the results you want for your business can be tricky. Don’t fall for the idea that you can simply knock out a simple flyer, buy a mailing list, send it out, and watch the responses roll in. Many businesses have tried that and failed. Success in direct mail marketing is something that requires expert help from someone who has been there before, knows what results you’re after, and knows specifically how to achieve excellent results.