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Email overload versus direct mail – which wins?!

Email overload versus direct mail – which wins?!

My last post I talked about email and the sheer amount of email that consumers receive daily. How these “well-crafted” messages get deleted 99% of the time without even being read.

Email, while it could (and should) tie into an overall marketing campaign, has become more of an annoyance to the consumer than anyone really considers. And no one sees that the email ties into the overall marketing campaign because it doesn’t get seen.

Yes, email is relatively cheap to send; what isn’t cheap is losing a customer because you’ve sent them one too many emails. You can argue that it doesn’t take much time to delete email – you’re right. You can argue that it really isn’t a problem – you’re wrong.

When you get over a dozen offers per day in your email – which you see on your computer, phone, iPad, other device, it does get a little aggravating.  Especially when you get “special sale” offers from the same retailers at least twice a week. I’d argue that the sale isn’t so special then.

Tools exist for companies to track effectiveness of email campaigns – open rates, click rates, etc. The data must then be used for “good.” To remove consumers that aren’t responding or opening. To scale back quantity of the messages to these consumers. To give them a break. Make the email and the offer special.  

So while email is “cheap” and direct mail is not, direct mail can be used effectively to draw customers into stores. Why is that?

For one thing there isn’t as much competition for consumer attention in the mail box these days. Other marketers aren’t using direct mail as a channel – less competition. Direct mail can’t be deleted without glancing at it. A piece of mail must be handled from mail box to trash can – and people look at it while deciding if the offer is compelling enough to open and read.

Lastly, most good direct mail is a piece that the consumer takes away – is able to stick in their wallet or purse for use later. The offer compelling enough to consider a stop at the store or a visit to a website to purchase something.

Don’t get me wrong, email is a tool to be used in marketing campaigns – it just shouldn’t be over used.

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