Corporate Eye

Email or Direct Mail? The Answer is Both

royal mail marketreach mail and email infographicA marketing plan that incorporates email but leaves out direct mail (or vice versa) is a marketing plan that will not drive maximum results. That’s because consumers perceive that email and direct mail are for different things according to a study by Royal Mail MarketReach.

Consumers view email as a fast and informal form of communication that they can respond to quickly, but they view direct mail as attention-grabbing and informative. In other words, direct mail gives a better impression of a brand than email according to this study.

Click on the image to see all of the details in a data visualization from Royal Mail MarketReach. Following are some of the highlights from the report that brand marketers shouldn’t miss:

Did you know that consumers who are considered to be digitally active are actually more likely to take a digital action after reading a piece of direct mail? According to this study, 86% have connected with a business after receiving direct mail from that business, and 54% have engaged with the brand on social media after receiving direct mail from the brand. A total of 43% of direct mail recipients have downloaded something offered by the brand sender after reading the mailer, and 57% believe that mail makes them feel more valued than email does.

The Royal Mail MarketReach study reveals that companies can increase consumer action, sales, and brand loyalty when they integrate direct mail and email marketing. In fact, 51% of consumers want to receive both email messages and direct mail from the companies that they buy from. At a time when most brand marketers are shifting budget dollars away from direct mail, which is expensive, the report reveals that doing so could be a big mistake. Not only do more than one in two consumers want to receive both email and direct mail from companies but another 17% only want to receive direct mail. If all of your budget dollars are going to email marketing, then you’re missing a 17% segment of the audience and you’re not delivering everything that another 51% wants.

Today, direct mail can be extremely effective for the simple reason that the number of companies sending direct mail on a daily basis has dropped so much over the past 10 years. Instead of struggling to get noticed in the mailbox, companies now have to struggle to get noticed in the email inbox. That means the door is wide open for your brand to get noticed with a great direct mail offer and design.

Click on the link at the beginning of this article to download the full report to see all of the study details.

Image: Royal Mail MarketReach

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.