It’s true—e-mail is inexpensive, easy to personalize and highly trackable. The trend however is toward cross media, with marketers using the best of multiple media to reinforce one another. But with the success of e-mail, some marketers might be tempted to jettison print altogether. Is this the right choice?
As you allocate your marketing resources, here are some things to consider.
1. Differences in e-mail databases. People change e-mail addresses more frequently than they do physical addresses. Thus, you must keep e-mail addresses up to date much more often, especially in the B2B marketplace. Data mining experts indicate that predictive analysis also tends to be more accurate for direct mail than for e-mail, and customer retention rates tend to be higher.
2. Direct mail tends to generate higher revenues. Although there are exceptions, more multi-media campaigns include e-mail as a marketing component than direct mail (79.1% for e-mail vs. 75.4% for direct mail). However, direct mail generated 29% of the revenue, compared to 21.6% for e-mail.
3. Print mail sticks around. The 1:1 industry abounds with stories of marketers who send out smart personalized campaigns, and while recipients to the campaign might not need the product or service immediately, they keep the mailer for future reference. They might wait for a year or more, but when they are ready, they act on it. When was the last time you heard that about an e-mail?
Perhaps this is why, despite the proliferation of e-mail, direct mail continues to grow.
So don’t over-emphasize e-mail to the exclusion of print . When evaluating the metrics of both options, compare apples to apples. Put more weight on measurements, such as cost per lead, dollars generated per sale and ROI than on more generic measurements. You might find that the most cost-effective solution isn’t always what it might seem.