Direct mail versus email marketing
There has been a long debate about which is better: direct mail or email marketing. At our firm, we offer both options for our clients. Direct mail is tried and true and statistically, it has a higher response rate. However, according to a new article in Chief Marketer, email marketing has the highest ROI (return on investment).
Larry Riggs, writing for Chief Marketer writes:
Direct mail may generate the highest response rates of all direct marketing vehicles, but email posts the highest ROI (return on investment), according to the Direct Marketing Association’s annual response rate report.
According to the study, response rates for letter-sized direct mail sent to house files was 3.4%, more than 30 times the 0.12% response rate for email. But email’s ROI was 28.5% compared to 7% for direct mail. See report here.
Direct mail response rates
In other words, even though people are more likely to respond to a direct mail piece, by the time you deduct the cost of writing, printing, and mailing the campaign, it ends up costing more than the email campaign. Email may have lower responses but ends up making more money. This is especially true if you are emailing your own customer base in a cross-selling attempt.