Direct Mail Vs Email: See What The Statistics Prove

Why is there the battle of direct mail vs email? Marketers often argue which is better among these two top tactics. Which have you put your money on?

Some choose only one because of budget limits, a lack of time or of resources. Yet there’s a bigger reason: many people have written off one of these tactics as ineffective.

BUT, these people need to consider: What do the numbers prove?

Knowing the statistics might change your mind. On top of that, acting on these facts can open up great opportunities for you.

Email Marketing vs Direct Mail for list-building

One DMA study shows it costs an average of $22.50 to acquire a customer with email, while direct mail costs $43.90. This makes it look like it’s twice as expensive to use direct mail to get new clients. However, there are other considerations. The study also reveals that 4.4% of people respond to direct mail while only 0.12% respond to emails.

A Royal Mail Research Report indicates that your success with either email or direct mail will depend on what you’re sending. According to their study, twice as many people prefer direct mail for things such as brochures, catalogs, welcome packs, bills, and statements.

Email and direct mail are equally effective for sending reminders, issues, and complaints. However, consumers prefer email for receiving info about new companies, getting a list of products and services, or for confirmation messages, news, and updates.

Of the 2,375 people surveyed, people want emails for whatever is quick, informal, and spontaneous. They associate direct mail pieces with items that are official, formal, reliable, important, and personal.

Why should you consider using email along with direct mail for list building?

Royal Mail Research indicates that 65% of people, when given a choice, prefer to browse a catalog and online before they buy something. Can you give customers both? This study shows that using both methods together will improve your brand awareness.

Direct mail vs email marketing for personalization

Years ago, people were astounded to see their own name in an email. Now, they barely notice. Your email text needs to immediately spark an emotion, such as curiosity, joy, or humor. These things will get people to take action.

Fortunately, personalizing an email is easy. Most platforms have templates that allow you to use anything you know about the customer to add personal touches.

Personalizing direct mail is also easy. In addition to the obvious – using their first and last name – you can include images of previous purchases. Promo codes can also be personal.

The important thing on any channel is that you personalize your messages. McKinsey & Company says, “Our research shows that 71 percent of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. And 76 percent get frustrated when this doesn’t happen.”

How can you use direct mail along with email to improve personalization?

Use the strengths of direct mail for your initial contact with people.

A study by the Data & Marketing Association reports that 79% respond to direct mail immediately, while only 45% act quickly on emails. A GLW Media study shows direct mail has an average lifespan of 17 days while email only lasts an average of 2 seconds.

Include a QR code on your mail piece to help consumers take action more conveniently. Then you can further personalize your communication with the customer through follow-up emails. Reach out not only to those who took the desired action, but also to those who scanned the code but didn’t buy, sign up, or download.

What do direct mail vs email statistics prove about engagement?

Engagement really just means that consumers take the action that you want them to. This is all about Return On Investment (ROI). In an ANA survey of 1250 people over the first half of 2021, direct mail has an average 112% ROI while email’s is 93%.

Does this mean that direct mail is a clear winner here? Keep in mind that these numbers are averages. There are ways to raise your ROI for email as well as for direct mail. The same study explains that 53% of respondents plan to increase their use of email over the next 12 months.

How to help email reach your audience?

How can you use direct mail along with email to improve engagement?

Let’s say you have someone’s email, but not their physical address. Why not offer an incentive? Ask them to give their address in exchange for information or a freebie product that they can’t get anywhere else. You have then unlocked direct mail as an option for marketing to them.

As said earlier, using both methods together will improve the customer’s experience and increase your ROI. In fact, customers will spend 25% more when companies use both email and direct mail in their marketing. Several studies report how using more than one communication channel multiplies your effectiveness.

What does direct mail vs email mean for you?

Which is better – email or direct mail? The numbers have told us that this is the wrong question. Both are profitable, winning marketing methods. Here is the right question:

How can you use both of them together to increase your conversions, sales, and ROI?

When comparing direct mail to email, statistics reveal there are strengths and weaknesses to each. Use this knowledge to create a lasting impression with direct mail and reinforce your message with emails.


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