Email Marketing vs. Direct Mail Marketing

There’s no denying that technological advancements have taken marketing to a whole new level. With the advent of television, social media, and email, many businesses still wonder if spending money on traditional marketing mediums is worth it.

If you believe that direct mail marketing is dead, think again!

Just because there are new digital channels available, it doesn’t make traditional mediums any less effective. Despite it being around for decades, a huge number of people still respond favorably to direct mail marketing.

When deciding between traditional and digital channels, one of the most common debates that arises is between email marketing and direct mail marketing.

So, let’s take evaluate the effectiveness of email marketing and direct mail marketing based on a few factors.


One of the main factors that helps measure the effectiveness of marketing mediums is its receptivity. A recent study conducted by Salesforce suggests that almost 44% of email recipients purchased an item all because of a promotional email.

Even though this might seem like a pretty favorable figure, what’s even more surprising is that 56% of consumers claimed that they consider direct mail marketing to be the most trustworthy marketing medium. Since direct mail marketing is a personalized tool in comparison to the internet, it is natural that consumers find it more reliable and trustworthy.

Moreover, a study also revealed that 84% of direct mail recipients made a purchase after seeing it in a direct mail catalog. For an outdated form of marketing communication, these figures surely make you want to tilt in favor of direct mail marketing.


There’s no denying that email marketing can be pretty interactive as it allows you to include pictures, audios, videos, links to a company’s website, and other various external links. Not only this, but it also allows you to track and record all this information to see what works for you and what doesn’t. So, it’s obvious that email marketing delivers on both fronts, but do you know that direct mail marketing does the same?

The content of a direct mail can be tailored exactly according to the recipients’ needs, making it fun and interactive. Also, many people aren’t aware of this, but you can also track data with direct mail marketing. Most direct mails come with QR codes and personal URLs that offer the same tracking abilities that emails do. By printing unique URLs and QR codes on direct mail, you allow the customer to scan the code and land on your website.


Targeted mail marketing is available for both direct mail and email marketing. Targeted mail lists are specifically-tailored, readily-available lists that allow you to target your marketing campaign to the consumers mentioned in it. Even though these lists can be used for both mediums, direct mail targeted lists have had much more time to become refined over time.

Additionally, one of the biggest difference between the two mediums in this capacity is that while most consumers have one mailing address, it is common for them to have multiple email addresses. So, if you send direct mail, you can guarantee that your customer will receive it. However, you can never know for sure about the email address a consumer is currently using. So, if you send out an email to an address that an individual doesn’t even use, your email marketing will be rendered useless.


The bottom line is that both email and direct marketing have a lot of benefits to offer. While the debate between the two is never-ending, the best option for you is to utilize the strength of both these mediums and use them to gain a competitive advantage.