Although direct mail is still alive and well as a marketing strategy, many internet marketers are relying heavily on email marketing to connect with their leads and prospects. Email marketing does need to be done a little differently than direct mail marketing, and here are some of the main differences, and reasons why they should be considered:
1. Direct mailings are often strong sales pitches: Take a look at some of the direct mailings that you personally receive on a regular basis. Most of them take the “hard sell” approach, with a strong call to action. You may decide to take a look, but you may just toss it in the trash. Most people understand that they get a lot of “junk mail” or “bulk mail” in their regular post office mailbox, and it doesn’t have a strong adverse effect. However, most people feel much more pressured by constant sales pitches that show up in their email inboxes. Email is more personal, usually not addressed to “Resident,” and can be an intrusion to the recipients if they have not agreed to let you contact them. A hard sell can come across as very pushy in this environment, so caution is advised. Make sure that you are convincing with the content of your email marketing messages, yet it should be more personal and relaxed.
2. Direct mailings are often longer: With direct mailings, your messages can be longer. They are often meant to be perused at the recipient’s leisure, perhaps over their morning coffee. Email marketing messages, however, are something people want to quickly browse through and get out of their already overcrowded inbox. If your message is too lengthy, they may not even bother with it. If it is short and sweet, and well done, then you may get a response. If the recipient is not compelled to respond at the time that they open the message, they may just send it to the trash, rather than the direct mailing that they may leave on the kitchen counter to look at later.
3. Direct mailing can use more colorful and forceful wording: For direct mailing, you can use all caps, or big, bold fonts. You can put in the hard sell words like “Free!” or “Fantastic Savings” or “Limited Time Only,” without really sounding too spammy. With email marketing, you have to choose your words a little more carefully. This is especially true for the subject line. Consider direct mailings that you have received, and how often you think that you are getting a letter from a friend, and open it to find it is only another bulk mailing. That usually goes straight to the trash. When you use deceptive subject lines in email marketing, you run a significant risk of being labeled as a spammer. Be very careful about this!
Email marketing is not the exact same type of advertising and promotion as direct mailing, and considering some of the major differences is going to mean the difference between success and failure! Professional help is available from companies like Gadzoog. Make sure that your email marketing campaign is working well for you, and consider adding it to your overall marketing strategy.