Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Email vs Direct Mail

A few lessons from MarketingProfs.com:

What Your Email Campaign Can Learn From Direct Mail

"Though direct mail certainly isn't as popular or as effective as it once was, email marketers can apply many of the theories used for direct mail campaigns to increase the value of their email marketing campaigns," writes Ryan Morgan in an article at MarketingProfs.

For one thing, a direct mail piece and an email both need to make a strong first impression. That's because a recipient sifts through her email in the same way she sorts direct mail: making arbitrary, snap judgments about what she'll read and what goes in the trash.

A plain white envelope with an unfamiliar return address won't intrigue her—and neither will its generic email equivalent. So give her a subject line that piques her interest, a "from" address she trusts and an appealing, eye-catching mix of text and graphics, Morgan advises.

Beyond that, he offers this direct-mail-inspired advice:

  • Give your subscribers something of value. This might be monetary (a discount), informational (a how-to guide) or an opportunity not available to everyone. "I want to be an insider, and I want to feel special," Morgan explains.
  • Be considerate of their frequency preferences. This is where you can learn something from direct mailers who may not get it right for each recipient's preference. Morgan wryly notes that "you could probably build a small home out of '20% off' coupon postcards from Bed Bath & Beyond." But email marketers have an advantage in the frequency debate: They can simply ask subscribers how often they'd like to receive messages.

The Po!nt: Email is direct-to-consumer, too. Although direct mail might not be a part of your marketing mix, understanding its principles could help you improve your email campaigns.

Source: MarketingProfs.

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