I had essentially thrown the baby out with the bath water — except instead of a baby it was my month’s paycheck, and instead of the bath water…it was my pile of junk mail.
Ever since then I’ve been extra careful in sorting through my mail, but it’s always such an inconvenience.
At one time, direct mail was a great way to grow interest in your company. People responded well to companies sending post cards and catalogs.
The problem is that direct mail’s success ultimately became it’s greatest downfall. The sheer quantity of people trying to cash in on direct mail has overwhelmed the consumer with solicitations.
People are just tired of sorting through junk every day.
Of course, there are good examples of direct mail. If the content and offers are personalized enough, consumers tend to respond well to direct mail — specifically for places where they regularly shop (or if they are getting a reminder of an upcoming appointment, for example).
Even so, between printing fees and postage, direct mail can become very expensive very quickly. Due to the steady decline in consumer responsiveness and the sustained costs of direct mail campaigns, many companies are investing in email marketing to replace their traditional mail campaigns.
Here are 3 ways that direct mail can hurt your company and ruin it’s good name:
1. Your mailers are annoying
The sheer quantity of mail that the average person receives is staggering. Over 82 billion pieces of advertising mail were delivered in 2010 – that’s an average of 714 pieces of direct mail per household in the U.S.
By sending that direct mail campaign, are you losing patience from your prospects?
2. Direct mail is wasteful
How many pieces of junk mail do you throw out each day? Many people don’t care to be bothered with advertisements after a long day of work, and simply throw out that mailer in which you invested so much time and money.
3. Direct mail is hard to track
So you just sent a campaign to 30,000 households? Great. Now, how are you going to track new customers who came through that campaign?
Sure, you can definitely use tracking links, coupons, and QR-codes, but a lot of people still slip through the cracks. The trouble is, without this proven ROI, it becomes guesswork to justify a subsequent direct mail campaign. Even so, too many business owners seem to do it just to do it.
Choose the alternative.
When used correctly, email marketing is a great alternative to traditional direct mail campaigns. By communicating only with people who have opted-in and by providing them with an easy way to unsubscribe, your message is well received by the qualified individuals who truly want to hear your message.
In addition to being extremely cost effective (and sometimes free), email marketing is exceptionally trackable. With this data, you and your team can make more educated conclusions about the effectiveness of your marketing.
How do you use email marketing to engage your subscribers and close the loop on your marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments below!