Where does the ongoing feud between direct mail and email stand?

Direct mail vs Email: Which one wins?

A client recently asked me:

If I send out the same sales message to the same number of people using email and direct mail, which method is more likely to get the best response rate?

Great question!

My answer: Assuming all other things being equal, in my client’s experience, direct mail usually wins the battle.


arm-wrestling--sca0011I think it’s because readers have an opportunity to hold a letter or postcard in their hands, which gives it a better chance to grab someone’s attention.

On the other hand… people are completely overwhelmed by the number of emails they get, so it’ll most likely be deleted before it ever has a chance.

But that’s my opinion.

According to a recent Ad Age article, The Direct Marketing Association’s most recent study on direct mail and email showed that average email response rate was only 1 out of 1,000, while 34 out of 1,000 people responded to direct mail.

Pretty revealing statistics, don’t you think?

So if you think, like many business owners, direct mail is dead and doesn’t work… think again.

Keep in mind, email is still a very important media. It can be effective when used in the right circumstances and sent to the right lists, such as current customers and people who have expressed interest in your company.

But as far as generating new leads and consistent “touches” to your customer list, good ‘ole direct mail is still very effective and powerful, even after you factor in printing costs and postage.

And with the ability to get mailing lists to laser-target your ideal prospect, plus the various low-cost USPS programs available to small business owners (such as the Every Door Direct Mail Program), you should at least consider testing it.

To make direct mail or e-mail work for you, you need:

If you need help with any of these, I can help!

Tell me… What are your experiences (good or bad) with direct mail and email? – Just comment below.

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If you want help with your marketing strategy, writing effective sales copy, have any comments, or have a marketing project you’d like help with, e-mail me or call me at 603-686-5140

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To your marketing success!

Merrill Clark

Website and Marketing Copywriter

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