A direct mail piece that invites recipients to sign up on a special landing page for a free gift or discount allows you to collect more email addresses for your email marketing messages. Likewise, a couple of email messages that arrive in the weeks after a direct mail postcard or brochure can help reinforce the original message or provide easy links for more information.
Both forms of marketing have their advantages. It is easy to access the postal addresses needed to send direct mail—in contrast, available email addresses add up to only about 20 percent of available postal addresses. People also receive far fewer direct mail pieces per day compared to email. (ExactTarget says we average about 400 commercial emails a month.)
Email marketing is relatively inexpensive, flexible and easy to track thanks to email campaign software packages. Email marketing also allows for extensive personalization and targeted messages; so does direct mail, if you use variable data printing. The Direct Marketing Association found that the response rate for direct mail sent to existing customers average 3.4 percent, compared to 0.12 percent for email.
Given the advantages and disadvantages of each, it makes sense to use email marketing and direct mail in tandem.
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