Technology has changed every industry, and the marketing industry is no exception. Previously the go-to marketing techniques were billboards or TV commercials. Maybe an ad in your local phone book or on the fence at your town’s baseball stadium if you were feeling creative. All of those methods are being replaced with online banners, and social media ads. One seemingly intuitive way to transition your business to the modern digital age is to replace direct mail postcards with marketing emails.
If you are a small business owner, it might feel like it makes sense to send out emails (which cost next to nothing per recipient) instead of direct mail postcards (which cost a couple cents per recipient). While there is definitely an important place for email marketing, we believe direct mail postcards still hold a critical place in marketing. Here’s why:
- A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Giving your target customers a piece of marketing that they can physically hold (as opposed to a digital email that has no tangible value) connects with them. They are more likely to remember the direct mail postcards they received and could touch and smell than an email that they are only able to see. Emails only reach clients through the sense of sight; a piece of mail that they can physically touch reaches them through touch, sight, and smell. (I mean, technically they could taste it too. We won’t count that sense though.) The point is, you have a much higher chance of creating brand recognition with a physical postcard than you do with an email.
- Mail marketing offers you a greater chance to target the people who will actually be inclined to use your product or service.
Email marketing limits you to the people who give you their email address. While this is very valuable, there are thousands of people within miles of your business who likely have no reason to ever hand over their email address to you. Even if you use location filtering with social media marketing or search engine ads, you are limited to the demographic that uses Facebook and Google to choose who they give business to.
On the other hand, when you send out direct mail postcards, you can make sure you reach every household in the area that you shop is set up in. All walks of life, with any level of digital interaction, is reached. The common denominator is that they live in the area your business services; the exact common denominator that you want to reach.
- Direct mail marketing helps you stand apart from your competitors.
Right along side the rest of civilization, technology has improved wholesale printing services. It is feasible and affordable to achieve any kind of visual goal you have with your direct mail postcards. You can print metallic foiled post cards now. You can emboss them. You can make them matte on one side and glossy on the other. The only limit to what you can create with a direct mail postcard is your own creativity. This gives you unlimited opportunity to create a brand that stands out among your competitors.
Even if you are a guru of digital design, you are limited by the impact that your email can have. Heck, even if your business is literally creating marketing emails, there is still a substantial limit to the impact your marketing email can create. Marketing postcards on the other hand, can make any impression that you want! While your competitors think they are saving a little bit of money by sending out emails instead of physical mail marketing, you are making an impression with your direct mail postcards that can never be achieved through digital marketing.
- Circumvent the digital clutter.
Because email marketing is cheap and easy to do, everyone does it. This means consumers are overwhelmed with email spam every day. This means that their inboxes are set up with filters to put your marketing emails straight into the trash. Direct mail marketing on the other hand circumvents the email spam that we all hate and reaches the customer.
The take away here is, email marketing isn’t bad, but it doesn’t replace direct mail marketing.