Email marketing is fast beating out printed direct mail as the preferred method for companies to reach prospects and customers directly. Why? Among the many reasons:
Email is more cost-effective: Printed direct mail is a costly venture as it involves printing costs, envelopes (unless a postcard is used), postage and the labor involved in getting the shipping labels on each printed piece. Email’s simplicity as a medium eliminates the overhead associated with traditional direct mail, thus saving thousands of dollars and letting companies reach thousands more people for less money.
Email is faster: A good direct email takes thought and time to create, but once the concept, design, verbiage and recipient list are approved, an email can literally send in minutes. Printed direct mail can take days or even weeks to print, label, sort and be delivered to recipients’ mailboxes.
Email is highly trackable: Email marketing software, like the proprietary system used by Proven Systems, gives senders an enormous amount of useful, intuitive data about when and how their email was received. Knowing how many recipients opened the email, what hyperlinks were clicked and by whom is extraordinary market intelligence that printed direct mail simply doesn’t offer.
Email lets recipients respond without switching to a different medium: When a recipient gets a printed piece in the mail, they must open and read the information, then switch to a different medium (telephone, Internet or reply mail) to respond to the piece’s call to action. This may cause a delay or reduction in responses as recipients may set the piece aside with the intention of returning to it later. Email captures people’s attention and allows them to respond immediately by simply clicking within the framework of the direct email.
Even though email marketing boasts these significant advantages, some may argue that email isn’t as personal as printed direct mail and other forms of marketing communication. But research shows that for many people, email actually is a “warm fuzzy” that enhances their image of the sender.
Epsilon’s Email Branding Survey, Beyond the Click: The Indirect Value of Email (2009), revealed that 57 percent of consumers feel they have a more positive impression of companies they’ve done business with when they receive emails from that company. States the study: “This telling stat provides direct evidence that companies can develop and foster a positive image with even the most casual of customers by reaching out via email post-purchase.”
Such evidence supports the strategy of using email marketing not only as a direct-marketing tool, but as a vehicle for long-term relationship building, too.
By reaching out to customers via email after a purchase, a company can:
Gauge customer satisfaction: Customers aren’t shy about responding and sharing their purchasing experiences, especially if the experience fell short of their expectations. When you get feedback, you can quickly respond and right any wrongs in the eyes of the customer.
Educate customers about the products they purchased: Customers rely on you to be the go-to expert for your products or services. Through post-purchase email communication, you can proactively share your expertise and knowledge and secure your customers’ confidence.
Show the customer you care: Often, all a customer really wants is to know that you appreciate their business. Email communication sent for no other purpose but to say “thank you” can score big points with a customer… and future business for you!
The bottom line
Email’s simplicity and cost efficiency offer significant advantages over printed direct mail, and have made it the preferred direct-marketing method for companies to reach out to prospects and customers. Furthermore, email is not only an effective direct-marketing tool, it can help companies enhance their relationships with customers and boost their company’s image. A simple, well-crafted email can make a positive impression and a lasting effect on customers who invest their money and their confidence in your company.