Marketing Showdown: Direct Marketing vs. Email Marketing

A lot of marketers are forced to choose between direct and email marketing due to budget or time constraints. While there are distinct advantages to both, it is important to thoroughly evaluate each method to see which one works best for your business. While many marketers will tell you that cost is the primary reason why they choose to use one method over another, there are lots more things to consider.

Email Marketing
While email marketing costs a lot less than direct marketing, those considering it should also evaluate the amount of time required to properly use this marketing tool. Your time is money and it can take a lot of dedication to create, evaluate, tweak and promote an email marketing campaign.

However, email marketing will yield much faster results, giving marketers almost instant access to statistics that can be used to re-shape or adjust their campaign before sending it out to the next group. In fact, one of the biggest advantages is the ability to use A/B testing. Marketers can send our two or more versions of the mailer to see which one performs better. The differences can be as subtle as using different headlines or as dramatically unique as to feature different promotional offerings or deals.

The more data that can be collected by marketers, the better. It helps not only to learn more about your target demographic, but also helps to build ongoing information that can help in the development of future campaigns or offerings. Track all user actions, such as how many recipients opened or viewed the email, how many clicked on links or images within the mailer and how many converted those actions into an actual sale or completion of a required task. Proponents of email marketing will argue that this degree of instant feedback could never be achieved with more traditional direct marketing methods.

Direct Marketing
The cost to develop an effective direct marketing campaign will be much higher than any digital-based marketing campaign simply because it will utilize print materials and will involve mailing those materials directly to a targeted or opt-in mailing list. However, it is important to note that because of the methods used to deliver these marketing materials into the hands of customers or potential customers, marketers have access to a huge advantage over email marketing.

Geo-coding is an extremely valuable marketing tool that can be used via a set of web-based tools to track recipients based upon their latitude and longitude data. The people who receive these direct mailings can then be sorted or targeted with specific offerings and deals based upon their location. In a way, this is direct marketing’s way of A/B testing or comparing various campaign results to improve the future response of a target demographic.

Additionally, print materials can be used beyond post mail campaigns, allowing the marketer to bring them along to industry trade shows, promotional events or other in-person opportunities. Print materials are a great way to put your web-based business into a tangible format that can then be carried home for evaluation by the people you meet.

Making a Choice
So which type of marketing is better for you and your business? That still depends upon a number of unique factors within your own business structure. Will you be attending industry gatherings or other events to have the opportunity to share your printed materials with others? Or will you do better to take advantage of the A/B testing options found within email marketing methods? How much money do you have in your marketing budget? How much time do you and your staff have to promote such a campaign online?

Whichever method you think is best for your business, you need to stay in touch and on top of all the changes and technologies that arise in this industry. Use as many tools, links and consultants as you can find to help yu stay on top of the latest marketing methods and results to ensure that you are doing all you can to establish a solid campaign.

Need advice on your next email or direct marketing campaign? Call Fall River Internet at 508-415-8648 for a free consultation and an evaluation.