The world of marketing evolved from direct marketing to email marketing when the internet became the fashion and people began to favour typing over handwriting. Instant communication has become so natural that a letter taking a week to reach its destination feels like forever! However, society has come one full cycle, and emails have started taking diversions from their destinations and have started landing in ‘Spam’ folders. That leads us to the question – should you switch from email marketing to direct mail marketing? Here are three reasons why you probably should!
1. The bloated inbox
This is one of the modern day problems that people experience. Almost everyone using email wishes for a secretary just to manage their mail – such is the massive inflow of information that bombards the inbox that it makes one wonder if email marketing is the way forward at all. When did you last read through your promotional mail carefully, for instance?
And when you consider the prospect of your email being deleted in two seconds of being opened if it doesn’t make sense to the reader, you are racing against time to make the first impression. And to make it even harder, your competitors are fighting for the same two seconds of attention!
On the other hand, your regular mail box is not as overloaded; at least, not yet. There is still some space for letters to go through, for that piece of marketing to reach a pair of eyeballs, away from the electronic world. You may still stand a chance when it comes to direct mail marketing against email marketing.
2. Declining attention span
The New York Times claims that people’s attention span has come down from 12 to eight seconds, telling us that the human attention span is less than that of goldfish! The BBC, however, disputes the claim. Irrespective of the accuracy of such a claim, the fact remains that people’s attention is hard to grab, particularly because of the sheer volume of digital information waiting for their attention today.
Australians are said to spend almost 10 hours a day on internet-enabled devices, which could lead to what is called “digital dementia”. Those 10 hours are not spent looking at emails all day – people have so much more to view. With less information retained and increasing stress and anxiety over staying in touch, the world is laying the rules of behaviour around 24/7 internet.
This could mean that people may increasingly want to enjoy a breath of fresh air as part of a “digital detox”. Marketing materials that are removed from the internet world may not only be refreshing, but could also get them back in touch with nature, our way of life before the digital information revolution. So, getting back to the basics with direct mail marketing instead of email marketing may not be a bad idea after all as customers may be more likely to pay attention to information not found on digital devices.
3. The nagging suspicion
Netizens do not view their own emails as a safe space anymore. It is not just the common man, but even businesses that are not sure how safe their data is, wondering if they are more vulnerable to phishing emails or to ransomware attacks. Hacking is in the air, and scamsters keep finding innovative ways to break through firewalls, making the best security systems feel unsafe – the recent hacking attack on US power grid is a case in point, among others.
Such events make the average end-user think twice before clicking on that email from an unknown sender. Further, email marketing has to beat the omnipresent spam filters to reach the eyes of the consumer, who would look at the email with suspicion anyway. And all that you would be able to communicate to the consumer is just the subject line, before the user decides to shove it down the trash folder.
With direct mail marketing, users are sure there is no clickbait, their information is safe, their details are not being phished, and they can actually open the attachments to the fresh feel of paper and read it at their leisure. Sometimes, they even lie around the lounge for a few days, catching the user’s eyes every now and then.
Consider making the switch
Well, none of these mean that you would hit the bull’s eye with direct mail marketing, making your potential customers read through all the material that you have painstakingly put together. Your materials may still go into the trash like your email marketing campaign when the consumer is unimpressed. However, considering the way the email space is increasingly crowded, with information overload and lingering concerns around safety and security on the internet, you may find an edge in incorporating direct mail marketing into your marketing campaign over trying your luck with email marketing.