Is Email More Effective Than Physical Mail?

For any marketing campaign, tangible mail (or physical mail) and door-to-door marketing were once the best way to communicate with your audience. The growing use of email in our everyday lives has threatened the efficacy of drop door marketing as the most popular form of marketing. This is because email, as a form of b2c communication, is a lot cheaper than its physical counterpart. In light of this, recipients now have both types of marketing to contend with, and the question still remains, which is better received?

The Royal Mail estimates that it sent around 19.7 billion letters in 2005, and 6.17bn of these were deemed direct mail. Among these letters, they included content from companies that wanted to communicate a particular message to clients or potential clients directly. By 2012, the total amount of letters sent fell to 13.8bn, and the total figure of direct mail also decreased to 4.4bn. In 2023, it is expected that we will see the total amount of letters sent decrease to 8.3bn and 3.1bn of this total amount will be considered direct mail.

Analysts of these trends can look at these total figures in isolation, not considering the consumer and how they receive the branded message. Even though the total amount of letters is decreasing, in 2013 the City of London suggested that consumers would still receive up to 650 letters per year, a noticeable amount within a digitised economy.

Other forms of physical mail also exist, distribution networks that send unaddressed promotional activity such as pizza menus, for example, that arent sent by the Royal Mail, are measured separately and defined as drop door marketing.

Although postal marketing is still a relevant aspect of our lives, digital means are continually overshadowing its significance. Every household receives an average of up to two pieces of direct mail each day, which is overshadowed proportionately by the 121 marketing emails we receive on average every single day.

March 2016 saw the total amount of emails sent globally increase to 205bn, and 56.52% of these were sent directly by marketing companies. Incredibly, this results in 115,866,000,000 types of marketing emails being sent every day. If this is not already mind blowing, there are 7.4bn people on planet Earth, which means that a company could send 16 emails to every human every day continuously.

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What does this mean in terms of readership?

Figures from the CMO council suggest that 44% of people do not open their direct mail and 56% of people do. This equates to a positive equation of more readers than non-readers when evaluating readerships.

Unlike direct mail, 22.87% is the amount of marketing emails that are opened currently, which means that direct mail increases the effectiveness of a marketing campaign three-fold. What this produces is a greater understanding of the intended marketing message, and the amount of consumers that receive that message.

Furthermore, direct mail stands positively in terms of response rates against emails, as figures from 2012 suggest that direct mail accounted for 3.4% of all response rates, and email stood at 0.12%. People then, are more likely to respond to physical mail than they are email.

Upon evaluation of consumer responses, door drops appear to be the most effective. Door drops accounted for 88% of all responses, whereas 66% responded to direct mail and 36% responded to internet adverts.

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Crunching the numbers

When we begin to analyse the numbers in detail between physical and digital forms of mail, a contrast evidently begins to emerge.

In the UK, 13.8 billion letters are sent and 74 trillion emails are sent to varying readers annually. What this converts to is 37,808,219 a day and 12,098,630 of these are direct mail.

If you thought the amount of direct mail that is send every day was substantial, 12,098,630 million, then youd be wrong. This equates to a mere 0.01% of the total amount of marketing emails that are sent every day around the world.

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What this means

When forecasts suggest that the rate physical mail sent will fall every year, this doesnt mean that direct mail and door drops arent useful anymore.

What this means is that traditional forms of marketing still remain useful, and traditional forms of communication, remain as important as theyve ever been. Forms of marketing such as direct mail and door drop services will remain a reliable method of ensuring that you are branded well and you remain visible for potential and current clients.

Make sure your campaign doesnt become part of someones junk mail folder, and choose door drop solutions for innovative marketing solutions that stand out against your competitors.

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About Lanna World

About Lanna World

Lanna World is a travel blog mixed with a lifestyle blog. Sadly I can't be traveling all the time, so while I'm at home - saving for travel - I'll write lifestyle posts. Right now, I'm living in New Zealand, planning to travel to Europe at the end of 2015. I can't wait.

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