Email Marketing vs. Direct Mail: Differences, Similarities and Insights for Choosing Between Them

It’s no secret that email is the heartbeat of most modern marketing strategies. But that’s no excuse to leave direct mail out of your future plans. Spending the majority of your time and effort on email marketing, may leave you unaware of the benefits direct mail campaigns yield. That makes the process of analyzing the head-to-head comparison of email marketing vs. direct mail tougher than you might think. Below, you can find all the insights necessary for making the best choice for your next campaign.

Why Compare Email With Direct Mail?

Believe it or not, direct mail and email campaigns have more in common than you think. Ultimately, both email marketing and direct mail allow users to quickly and easily get their message in front of their desired audiences. But often enough, even the most robust email marketing campaigns leave a lot to be desired. That’s especially the case when compared to the results direct mail campaigns often yield.

Take response rates for example. If your email marketing campaign achieves a roughly 0.6% response rate, it managed to yield an average amount of interest. But direct mail campaigns have an average response rate of roughly 3-4% which is much higher than of email marketing campaigns. Taking that into account, marketers hoping to generate more activity from audiences benefit from leveraging direct mail campaigns sooner rather than later. 

Email Marketing vs. Direct Mail: Main Similarities

One of the benefits of direct mail for those who have never conducted mailing campaigns before is that they contain multiple similarities to email campaigns. This makes the process of getting started a breeze. A few of the commonalities between email marketing and direct mail campaigns include:

  • Tracking the Results of Both Email and Direct Mail Campaigns is Easy

    Tracking is one of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign. When conducting a direct mail campaign, you have a few options for tracking. They include QR codes, tracking phone numbers and unique URLs with accompanying landing pages. And once your campaign concludes, you’ll receive a report allowing you to see how many calls, or how much traffic your mailer generated onto your landing page.


  • Automating Email and Direct Mail Campaigns is Simple

    The ability to turn on your email campaigns, then focus on other tasks is one of the most appealing aspects of conducting email marketing campaigns. GrowMail’s direct mail API which can easily be integrated into your CRM programs makes automating your mailing campaigns just as simple. This allows you to provide your audience with the perfect message exactly when it matters most.


  • Both Allow You to Stand Out With Personalized Messaging

    Being able to leverage merge tags to create highly personalized messaging is another reason marketers rely on email campaigns. But what many are unaware of is that you can personalize mailers with a variety of criteria. Name, products, age and location are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways you can personalize your mailing campaigns. GrowMail’s Direct Mail API simplifies the process of leveraging any of the first-party data saved in your CRM for personalization.

email vs direct mail

Email Marketing vs. Direct Mail: Key Differences

Now that you’ve got an idea on the characteristics shared between email marketing and direct mail, it’s time to get into how they differ. Some of the biggest differences between email marketing and direct mail marketing campaigns include:

  • Direct Mail Provides Recipients With a Tangible Item

    Being able to provide recipients with a physical item goes further than you think. Let’s say for instance that you’re conducting a mailing campaign on behalf of a local dental office. A recipient may not make an appointment right away, but they will save it. And once they experience a toothache, they’ll have your postcard handy to make an appointment when they’re ready. An email on the other hand may get lost in a sea of marketing messages, leading the recipient to Google a local dentist.


  • Audiences Can Opt-Out of Receiving Your Emails

    Getting recipients to sign up for your emails is easier said than done. And once they do sign up, there’s no telling how long they’ll remain on your mailing list before unsubscribing. Since direct mail campaigns don’t come with an opt-out option, you don’t have to worry about the time you spent crafting the perfect message going to waste.


  • Direct Mail Has No Spam Filter

    It’s becoming increasingly difficult to craft emails that don’t wind up in recipients’ spam folders. Tinkering and testing email formats and copy can be incredibly time consuming, too. Since there’s no spam filter on the mailboxes of your recipients, you can create campaigns that resonate with your audience without being concerned about beating the spam filter.


How to Choose Between Email Marketing and Direct Mail Campaigns

Making the decision between conducting an email marketing campaign and a direct mail campaign can be daunting. To help make the right decision, keep your priorities in mind. For instance, let’s say the goal of your campaign is to encourage recipients to book a service appointment with a new landscaper. A postcard with a discount, along with a review from other happy customers could be a perfect resource for a recipient to save for when they need lawn care service.

Unless there’s an immediate need, recipients will likely forget about email with this information once you send it. That’s if the recipient sees it at all considering how many emails people get in the first place nowadays. Ultimately, marketers hoping to get audiences to take action benefit from relying on direct mail. Although they have their fair share of differences, you can easily integrate email and direct mail efforts. And the benefits of doing so are undeniable.

Kickstart Your Next Direct Mail Campaign By Scheduling a Free Consultation Below!

If you’re still unsure of where you stand when it comes to email marketing vs. direct mail, you aren’t alone. The friendly, knowledgeable marketing specialists at GrowMail are eager to discuss the benefits of including direct mail into your strategy with you. Underestimating the potential of a well-constructed direct mail campaign is among the most costly errors you could make. To begin your journey with direct mail, schedule a free consultation with a GrowMail marketing specialist today!