In contemporary society with diverse information, advertisement impacts various individuals including potential consumer in different ways. Businesses thus strive to ensure that advertisement is done effectively. There exists various advertisement tool such as direct mail marketing and email marketing which are essential in enhancing effective advertising. Bird (2000), a practitioner of worldwide authority, defined direct marketing as any activity aimed at creating and exploiting the direct relationship between businesses and their customers. Direct mail is a famous and the most widely used way to reach consumers in direct marketing carried through mailing such as letters, advertising, samples, and brochures among which are sent to potential customers (Feld, Frenzen, Krafft, Peters & Verhoef, 2013, p. 151). However, the extensive public accessibility to the internet and digital mobile networks have unlocked up new ways of mailing such as email messaging. These ways have enhanced advertisement since business can increase the commitment of their customers and receive instant feedback. Every individual using the Internet has access to email, allowing companies to use it as a powerful advertisement tool sending e-mail announcements of sales and offer both to individuals and large groups of people. However, any advertisement stimulates the emergence of new risks to the company's privacy, since there are several types of legal constraints. The aim of this report is to identify which advertising method: direct mail or email messaging is more effective for boosting a company's sales and to define legal liabilities associated with each of the methods.
Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail usually involves the distribution of advertising materials prepared in advance by mail different business clients and potential consumers. It is an unobtrusive creation of a positive image of a company as well as a modern way to reach client mostly potential customer. Direct mail is used to solve a variety of tasks such as finding new customers, raising brand awareness, creating a whole stream of requests from potential buyers whom the company can call, and send sales manager to conduct a presentation to them (Lewis & Ling, 2016, p.430). Main direct mail uses tools such as a letter, booklets, catalogs, magazines, price lists, souvenirs, for instance, calendars, pens, and posters, CDs with presentations, promotional and reference letters such as postcards, leaflets, books, business cards, programs, and questionnaires.
Advantages of Direct mail
There are various advantages of direct mail according to various which differ from the standpoint of both business and customers. Additionally, the prosperity of direct mail relies on the form of an enterprise and the manner it is performed. However, direct mail provides specific advantages to both businesses and customers which makes it distinct from other types of advertising in the marking.
Direct mail facilitates business to target on their clients directly. An efficient mailing list, formulated with the appropriate criteria and bought from a reputable and reliable source which update its data regulars may aid a business link with potential customers who are interested in their commodities or services (Lewis & Ling, 2016, p.432). Whereas, if business concentrates on the internet traffic, they are only likely to achieve generic visitors that they are unsure if they are interested in buying commodities from them. Therefore, a direct mail aids them in targeting a specific audience.
Direct mail is flexible on the promotional cost of business. The Ad campaigns through direct mail provide businesses with a chance to spend in relation to their stipulated budgets. This is because sending brochures, letters; postcards is a cost-effective solution that can be utilized to send a businesses' message to their clients Feld, Franzen, Krafft, Peters & Verhoef, 2013, p. 150). A business may also decide to have its promotion incorporated in coupon books which have a broad reach and the expenditure id divided with other enterprises.
On the other hand, direct mail is advantages to its target customers since its contents are memorable. According to Morimoto and Chang (2006, p. 9), almost 70% of the direct mail advertisements recipients recall emails' contents for at least nine months. He also established that, after three months of receiving direct mail, customer determination to opt for the provided services escalated by 248% in comparison to those individuals who did not receive the mail.
Direct mail is tangible which gives them the reliability of the message. Since direct mail is sent directly to clients and potential customers' hands, consumers are virtually guaranteed to read and see the information communicated. Therefore, since they can physically touch as well as view a letter, brochure, or any other type of mail, this ensures that the can view the message as being reliable unlike in other advertisements where they cannot physically touch the contents being passed.
Disadvantages of Direct Mail
Direct mail has a typically low response rate for advertisement which affects the promotion's efforts of a business. Majority of studies such as those conducted by Hassell and Monson (2014, p.471) place response rate of direct mail at 3.5%. Additionally, contrary to low response rates, various customers bump direct mail together with junk mail. Where they do not acknowledge the sender's address or they are not anticipating information from an enterprise, a business mail may be tossed meaning that the expenditure and time that a business uses is not accessed but thrown in the garbage.
A major disadvantage of direct mail for businesses is that enterprises purchase a list of potential clients that may be outdated and expensive at the same time. Additionally, guarantee that individuals listed are receptive of emails sent is absent. Therefore, this increases the advertisement costs as well as may see the end objective of an advert is not realized hence making it ineffective for a business.
Direct mail is also ineffective in advertisements that customers require a practical illustration of the commodities being advertised. For instance, a business may be advertising equipment which clients may not have the know-how of how to operate it (Hassell & Monson, 2014, p.471). Therefore, where they require a practical demonstration, direct mail is inefficient hence customers may dislike it which may also affect the promotion of other products or services which do not require demonstration.
Many customers and potential clients view direct mail as intrusive and annoying. This is particularly true where the mails are constantly sent to clients on regular bases some individuals may dislike them and view them as junk mail (Feld, Frenzen, Krafft, Peters & Verhoef, 2013, p. 151). Therefore, where clients find business promotion methods annoying, it might establish negative brand relations negatively impacting them to purchase the advertised commodities.
Legal Constraints in Direct mail marketing
Currently, there are more regulations on a list of company's concerns in a recent poll conducted by DMA (DMA Census, 2003) and the EU on the increasing intentions of direct mail marketing activity each year. This due to the tendency of direct mail to use of private media, customer and potential clients' information, and general utilization of sales promotion, mainly directed for legal constrictions. Therefore, direct mail marketing in some cases such as the fore-mention may attract legal considerations. Legal considerations associated with direct mail marketing are divided into two main areas which include the law- the Data Protection Act and self-regulation that is the British Code of Advertising Practice which covers data and the Direct Mail Services Standards Board for mailings, sales promotion, and data (Hassell & Monson, 2014, p.470).
The history of email alert goes deep in 1969, where the U.S. Defense Department has used it. Later in 1980, universities shelling to use digital messaging have applied it. It created a new world of communication, opening a platform not just for personal communication but business as well. Currently, email marketing aids individuals connect, for instance, through it, businesses can link with their customers and potential customers to advertise their commodities and increase their sales (Butler, 2009). Therefore, email marketing refers to a marketing approach which permits enterprises to constantly update both the potential customers and existing clients with information about new commodities, prices, and discounts among other essential information. '
Advantages of Email Marketing
Email marketing enables businesses to scale their e-newsletter to particular target customers. For instance, Samsung mail email only the Galaxy Note 7 clients in persuading them to the decision to recall the phones because of their batteries are faulty.
Email marketing promotions are measurable. Their measurability permits businesses to generate statistics, for example, the open degree of the emails (Gangeshwer, 2013). Additionally, this is something which permits many businesses to experiment with various design, subject lines, and copies to asses which is the most effective.
Email marketing is less intrusive for different customers than direct mail. Email marketing recipients may read business updates usually at their convenience. This makes customers experience have less pressure and feel more comfortable with advertised products or services. This is also advantageous for businesses since they can know when their clients open the email. This permits them to optimize their open rates by sending email to particular recipients which relies on the time when they are likely to log in their emails and click on email copy (Chaffey, 2005).
Emails composed and sent through email marketing are easily shareable. This is enhanced by the nature of the emails, and hence customers are able to share e-newsletter by forwarding them. This does not only benefit businesses increasing its marketing audience but also is vital for customers since their increase their knowledge of various commodities which they did not the previously acknowledge.
Disadvantages of Email Marketing
Email marketing is labor intensity which adds up additional costs for the businesses. Even though the sending of the mailing occurs in a few seconds, to adjust the whole process business need to spend a lot of time, effort and money. Markers or a company need to choose a strategy, plan the periodicity, a mailing service, prepare a campaign design strategy, develop creative, produce testing and measurements and assign responsible persons who will continuously work on the distribution and improve it (Feld, Frenzen, Krafft, Peters & Verhoe, 2013, p.145).
Working with big data is hard for business. This comes from great responsibility comes with large subscriber databases. First, bases become obsolete with time, if they are not used. Secondly, when replenishing the database with new addresses, there is a risk of typos and errors. If in the database company will send an email non-existent addresses or a wrong one, it might follow the sanctions mailers (Gangeshwer, 2013, 187). Thirdly, the subscriber base is personal information. Only companies that have obtained the appropriate license can work with it.
A major disadvantage of email marketing is that unsolicited commercial email also known as spam emails which irritate most customers (Morimoto & Chang, 2006, p.8) Where e-newsletters are not sent to the appropriate recipients; email marketing may lead to the audience deleting emails received.
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