Marketing and Direct Mail Tips

3. Email vs Direct Mail

There are pros and cons to both email and direct mail. Consider a combination of both.

  • Email is less expensive than direct mail.
  • Email is flexible. You can change your message quickly and respond to events.
  • Email may not get through. You are competing with a deluge of other electronic messages.
  • Nearly everyone has a spam filter and your message may not be read or may be deleted.
  • E mail addresses are often not available.
  • Direct mail is more costly due to printing, mailing and postage costs.
  • Mail is not delivered immediately and it’s more difficult to change.
  • Direct mail is more targetable than email. Unlike most other media you can select your target audience and deliver your message directly to their home or office. Your offer can be customized to the recipient’s known behaviors.
  • Direct mail is more personal. Most people perceive mail as more personal and important than other media.
  • Mail is tangible and includes a response device. All direct mail is dimensional and the recipient interacts with it in both a visual and a tactile way. Unlike email, the recipient can’t just hit delete to make your message disappear.
  • Mail is flexible. You can easily customize your message to your target audience. Your donors and prospects respond to different types of media. Many will prefer the personal touch of mail.
  • Results are measurable.
  • Mail is more private and secure. According to recent USPS research: Twothirds of Americans view traditional mail as more personal than internet communications and say mail is more private than email. 68% of Americans say mail is more secure than internet communications.
  • Lists are more available. Addresses and behavioral and demographic information are readily available.


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