With the announcement that the United States Postal Service (USPS) may be reducing their delivery days, it appears as though direct mail is getting knocked down another rung in the marketing world.
Many of you blog and social network, but have you included email marketing into your arsenal?
Email has significant cost savings over direct mail. When looking at a database of 500 people, the most popular postcard size from the leading provider in my area would cost $315 per campaign. Email marketing to a list of that size could cost you $8-$14 dollars and you’re able to email those 500 people multiple times per month for that price.
Logic dictates that if the USPS is having to consider losing a delivery day, direct mail has fallen out of favor. Ease of use and cost push more and more people into using email. In the last two years, I have seen a majority of people I know move to checking their mailbox once a week or less frequently. I personally only check my mailbox when I’m expecting a movie. Furthermore, there is no effective method for tracking your return on investment for direct mail. All of the popular email marketing companies provide in-depth statistical analysis packages so you can see what your consumers are most interested in to fine-tune future campaigns.
Every year, Americans receive 5.6 million tons of junk mail, enough to fill 450,000 garbage trucks. Not to mention the emissions used to create the paper, deliver the product then recycle it at the end. The environment is also your key to growing your list. Many clients I have worked with have extensive direct mail databases. The least expensive way to convert those into email addresses is to call. The fastest way is to send one last direct mail campaign with a message similar to “Help me go green”. Ask people to provide you with their email address over the phone, by email or by signing up on your web site. People I have helped do this have seen a better than 85% conversion rate in their first campaign.
The truth is, however, that some people prefer direct mail. It feels more personal. They like touching something. They don’t want more “stuff” in the inbox. That’s the beauty of the marketing campaign I just suggested, it allows people to choose if they would rather get your communications via email. If we take that same database of 500 people and get an 85% conversion rate, our direct mail budget is reduced by almost $270 dollars. If you want to communicate monthly, that’s over $3,000 per year you could be saving.
There are a lot of different providers out there, but the benefits of going with a real email distribution company include:
- Templates that are tested to work in most, if not all, email programs
- Tracking capabilities
- Scheduling capabilities (write your email now, send it next month)
- List management (if people unsubscribe or there are bounces, you don’t have to personally clean your database
- Email personalization
Although these companies cost money, it is a far better alternative than trying to use Outlook. Here is a short list of a few of the options I have tried. Each one has their advantages and disadvantages, but they all offer free trials, so find the one that suits you best.