Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why Use Direct Mail as a promotional tool?

Remember those days when we used to wait for postman to deliver our mail? Things have changed; we now receive most of our bills, invoices and notices via email. Marketing and promotional material that used to flood our post box, now being sent to us in our spam box!

I recently conducted a random survey asking people about their preferences on receiving promotional material. Whereas most respondents expressed their preference to receive promotions via email, there was an alarming commonality, “It was easier to delete the email”.

Obviously when marketing and promotion is one of the major costs in any business, such a finding is scary. A major challenge for email marketing companies is to increase the “Open Rate”. There are various estimates and researches. But most experts agree that a 10-15% open rate is good. More important stuff is the action that the reader takes after reading the email. Logically speaking, a reader could delete, forward, respond or take no action.

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I was reading a report done by Constant Contact (one of the top email marketing companies in the US) based on a survey done in Fall 2011 that shows that 81% small business prefer face-to-face contact with the potential customers. Hence the importance of human contact is undeniable, particularly in case of small businesses.

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