Direct mailing vs. email marketing: What’s best for your business?

Despite what many may be saying, the future of communication isn’t all digital, and marketers can continue to operate safe in the knowledge they will reach consumers through physical and online means.

Australians will spend almost $3 billion online over the Christmas period.

The fact that different demographics and target audiences respond to communication methods in their own unique way is the essence of omnichannel marketing, a practice that involves aligning various promotional strategies and ensuring branding remains consistent across multiple platforms.

With that in mind, it’s important to consider the value of direct mailing lists when planning marketing strategies. Although the Australian Retailers Association revealed that shoppers will spend nearly $3 billion online between now and the end of December, this is still just over 7 per cent of the total retail spending expected.

Whether you’re after direct mailing assistance, email marketing lists or both, here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Don’t discount the post

While social media and other digital marketing techniques are a valuable part of any business strategy, there’s still an active audience for physical mail. According to Australia Post, the organisation delivers more than 12 million items to over 11 million addresses each day. Whether it’s to companies or households, many people around Australia still rely on physical mail.

The popularity of email communication is another reason direct mail is still an essential aspect of any marketing strategy. Email fatigue is causing organisations to continue mailing their promotional material, while still supplementing it with an online presence in the form of social media involvement.

With people receiving a growing number of emails across work and personal accounts, it can be difficult to garner attention on such a competitive marketplace. On top of this, Roy Morgan Research discovered that many Australians still rely on printed catalogues for finding specific goods and services.

Mail campaigns are still an important marketing strategy.
Mail campaigns are still an important marketing strategy.

Direct mailing lists are tailored for a specific target audience, so it’s important to be aware of the trends that define mail readership. According to Roy Morgan Research, nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians feel direct marketing is more useful for finding out about the latest grocery specials than the internet.

General Manager for Media at Roy Morgan Research Tim Martin advises businesses to consider more than just digital marketing.

“In a media landscape that often just assumes people are turning to the internet for information when purchasing or selecting any product, catalogues in fact lead the way for more than 12 million Australians,” he said.

The multimedia difference

There are a few notable differences between digital and physical marketing content, meaning businesses should be integrating both into their promotional strategies where possible. For an omnichannel strategy to work effectively, it needs to make the most of the unique aspects present in each opportunity.

With email marketing, businesses have a bit more freedom in the type of content they can add to these messages to make them more engaging. Physical mail is limited to text and graphics, but emails can be augmented with embedded videos and social media links, directing users to further content or online stores.

As with the direct mailing lists described above, email marketing lists can be targeted to specific audiences, ensuring content is delivered to those most likely to respond favourably.

These are an important part of an omnichannel strategy as they provide links from one platform to another, encouraging potential customers to investigate brands that offer goods and services which interest them.