Today’s world is more connected than ever. Over 95% of the UK’s population is connected to the internet, making digital marketing a go-to strategy for businesses across the country. However, with customers receiving endless emails and messages from brands, digital marketing is losing its efficacy. Whilst digital marketing campaigns are being lost in the heaps that consumers are receiving daily, let alone becoming increasingly expensive, direct mail has staggeringly high engagement rates of 95% as of 2023.
In this blog post, we will delve into a comparative analysis of direct mail vs digital marketing, looking at the differences between the two and the opportunity to use them in conjunction, taking advantage of both marketing tools.
What is Direct Mail?
Direct mail is addressed or unaddressed advertising sent to a prospecting or current customer and is a way of connecting brands and their customers both physically and personally. Sending a piece of direct mail directly to the customer is an undeniably effective way of making your campaign relevant to them. This strategy is made even more productive given customers are refined by demographic data. Examples of direct mail include:
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is a strategy that utilises the internet to deliver marketing campaigns to customers whilst also reaching a large target base (both current and prospecting). The promotion of products or services online can encompass a variety of methods and digital marketing uses the following channels and strategies to deliver content:
- Social Media
- Search Engines (PPC)
How Do Direct Mail & Digital Marketing Differ?
Direct mail and digital marketing differ in more ways than simply the platforms used by brands and the varying mediums that which content is communicated. Whilst direct mail is a physical communication tool, digital marketing is an electronic stream of communication. These two streams further differ in the following ways:
One big difference between these two marketing strategies is the time it takes for brands to send out content to customers receiving it. Digital marketing offers instantaneous communication. After a company decides upon the content, it can be delivered and received as soon as it is published.
Direct mail, on the other hand, takes more time to reach customers. Materials must be printed and delivered by hand, making response and reception time more delayed.
Due to production costs and printing, direct mail has costs involved initially but yields a strong return on investment (ROI). Direct mail’s higher response rate is evident in the £27 billion direct mail generated annually for businesses in the UK.
In contrast, digital marketing is more cost-effective given there are no production costs involved in the process and campaigns can be scaled up at a much greater speed. However, these campaigns require more attention to maintain and maximise ROI, due to lower engagement rates.
Both direct mail and digital marketing can target customers in a personalised way but differ in how it is done. Direct mail makes use of data segmentation to target content to relevant customers, whereas digital marketing uses advanced data analytics and algorithms to create personalised content.
Another way that direct mail and digital marketing can be compared is through their accessibility. Digital marketing has a potentially limitless customer base as marketing streams such as campaigns via social media channels, offer brands the chance to reach customers of varying live demographics, allowing businesses to expand their customer segment.
On the other hand, direct mail delivers content to a select customer demographic, limited to the available customer data available. Although direct mail is less accessible, it is more likely to stand out given the market is saturated with digital content.
Direct mail is much more enduring than digital marketing. Emails and social media posts can be disregarded and deleted so quickly that their lifespan is only short-lived.
Contrarily, direct mail is much longer lasting and persistent. Customers are more likely to keep direct mail, meaning it remains at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Research shows that 45% of mail stays in the home for over four weeks!
Can Direct Mail & Digital Marketing be Used Together?
Yes! Using direct mail and digital marketing is arguably the most effective strategy for delivering marketing content to customers. This integrated strategy of omni-channel marketing integrates channels to create a seamless customer experience. Running marketing campaigns for digital marketing and direct mail simultaneously can improve a campaign tremendously, given it covers all bases for content to be delivered both offline and online.
The most effective marketing campaigns can target the same audience across both digital and traditional channels. It is more important than ever for businesses to understand how technology is driving direct mail’s efficacy and so, this omnichannel marketing approach is the best way of assuring campaign success.
How DMS can Help with Direct Mail
Here at Direct Mail Systems, we can help your business with all areas of direct mail. We offer a full range of flexible in-house direct mail services no matter the volume of work. Our understanding of the importance of this marketing channel and the effect it has on the success of your marketing campaign makes us committed to producing engaging, professional and high-quality direct mail. Whether you need support with mailshots, postcard marketing, personalised direct mail, international mail, bulk postage or more, our experienced team have an abundance of experience in producing and managing direct mail for several multi-industry organisations. By choosing DMS we can assure competitive prices, high-quality production and a fast turnaround.
If you’re interested in finding out more, get in touch to learn more about what we have to offer. Call us on 0117 934 1600 or get in touch online by clicking here.