Comparing Email Marketing to Print Marketing

Just in case you don’t read comments on this page, I wanted to point out a very important conversation going on about the future of email marketing – and comparing it to print direct mail.

At a recent post I made – I started a conversation about the end of free email.

Someone agreed and made an interesting observation:

“While I have no problem doing (print) mail outs, with the rising cost of postage and materials plus the clutter, the US mail has never looked worse. Email will still likely be cheaper… I just don’t like the idea of having another channel that is pressuring the ROI based on the whims of the gatekeepers. RSS looks like a nice alternative based on price AND control.”

A very interesting point that many people assume is correct- email marketing is cheaper. The problem is that, in many cases, it is a very dangerous (and wrong) assumption.

I definitely agree with the above point that email will always be cheaper than direct (print) mail. But, it depends on how you look at it – I see email as being much more expensive than direct mail in many cases.

How could email cost more than a physical stamp?

Results.

Both my own results and those of many other marketers who I know that test both email and print marketing.

For example:

Let’s say you have a list of 1,000 people to market to – and lets also assume you have both email contacts and offline info as well.

To email those 1,000 people will cost you nothing right now (well – the cost of the email service you use)

The average open rate is 20% (some lower some higher – for the purpose of this let’s say that is accurate)

Let’s say the item you sell is worth $100 and you sell 1% of those who open it.

200 people opened it and you made 2 sales (1%) for total sales (and profit) of $200

Now, send those same 1,000 the exact same sale letter in print for a total cost of approx $600 (stamps, paper, printing, stuffing)

Even if we stay at the 1% conversion (in print it is typically higher) you still make MORE money…

1,000 people x 1% conversion = 10 sales x $100 = $1,000

Your profit is $400 ($1,000 minus the mailing costs)

DOUBLE the profits from the same list.

And that doesn’t factor in that every new paying client is now twice as likely to buy again. So the email list got 2 new paying customers – the offline campaign got 10 – 5 times as many clients who are now twice as likely to buy again.

So, up front, email does look like it’s cheaper – but in the end it costs you more in lost sales – and in lost paying clients.

Simplified explanations but ask those who do both on and offline marketing to see if they have similar results… I’d be willing to bet they do.

Great topic though!

The reason this is very important to any, and every, business that does effective marketing – is that you have to look at results – not perceptions.
There is a big difference – up front, it looks like email is free and direct mail costs you a fortune. When you look at bottom line results (key word: results) – many times direct mail ends up making substantially more money. So the “savings” you make by sending email only actually is taking raw profits out of your pockets.

The facts:

1) Most people who do both on and offline marketing to the same list see substantially higher returns from their offline efforts

2) Direct mail investments are going up

3) Direct mail is working as good – many cases better – than ever. Why? Because most people fall for this belief that email is cheaper. It may cost next to nothing up front – but it is costing you pure cash every time you ignore the facts.

My thoughts on the best marketing? Both on and offline mixed. Offline is still preferred by people – they like to hold paper in hand. Proof? E-books vs. print – print is still the preferred choice. E-books have a place – but the best way to sell a book is both e-book and print book. So print mail gives you better conversions and sales – but email gives you the flexibility to build a stronger relationship with your client at a very low price.

Do both online AND offline marketing to see the biggest “bang for your buck”.

The results tell the true tale.

Direct Marketing Mastery: How to Turn 1 Pile of Great Copy Into a Mountain of Cash (You Can Too)

So you’ve written this all powerful copy that can convert even the harshest sceptic to a new customer and then keep them for life…

You know that you want to use it to create mountains of cash…

Do you know what you are missing to make that happen?

You probably do.

The first thing you need is a market.

“There is only one asset in business, it is customers nothing else can give you money.” Peter Drucker said something to this effect. (If he didn’t, its better to attribute it falsely than to claim it as original thought.)

So the bottom line is you need those people who can give you money. If you don’t have that shame on you for not looking into who will buy what you have to sell first.

I’ve gotten in backwards before too. It sucks. I will never do it again. The first thing I look for is when assessing an idea/product/opportunity is “where can I get access to the market?”

It’s great if there is a market but if there are no media you can use to get your message to your market then you are in trouble.

The Second Thing You Need Is To Be Able To Affordably Acquire a customer

If you can’t buy a customer then you are in serious trouble. You are playing at home in your sand pit alone. This is the difference between a real business and a pretend business. A real business factors in customer acquisition costs and gladly pays them because they have a bigger picture plan to be able use some of that other copy in order to be able to monetise their customers.

So if the thought of buying a customer scares you, makes your underpants feel tight… Then you need to be rethinking how you are monetising your customers initially and over the long term.

The Third Thing You Need is Marketing Systems

To me a marketing systems are the clever organising of the copy you produce in order to achieve a series of goals. Firstly customer acquisition, secondly retaining and growing the value of those customers.

This should be achieved with systems – largely build with a set and let them run mind set. Otherwise all you do is create a treadmill that you have to run on. There is an overhead of time and costs associated with the building disposable marketing materials.

So build the systems with an eye to the long term. And then it is much easier to build turn your copy into a mountain of cash.

Marketing in Cyprus Moving Forward

Marketing in Cyprus has always been very traditional with mediums of print advertising, direct mail and TV very much dominating for big local brands but as the proliferation of media continues, and globally people spend more and more time online, local companies in Cyprus have started to seriously explore the arena of emarketing and how it can help their bottom line. Increasingly local companies’ websites are becoming more interactive, consumer brands are doing SMS campaigns to promote new products and more online campaigns are surfacing in the market.

Driven by the need to justify their departments and budgets, Cyprus marketing managers also need to start to consider accountability and measurement of ROI of individual campaigns, something which becomes increasingly easier with online marketing initiatives. The need to effectively compete in a global market and also expand to reach clients outside a small local island base is another incentive for embracing emarketing.

The challenge? The older generations in Cyprus are not all computer literate, and the percentage of ‘silver surfers’ apparent in other countries has not materialized yet in the market. There is also a lot of fear associated with the internet also, especially around ecommerce and mistrust with online payments or claims made by companies online.

In line with global trends however, this view should begin to change, as more Cypriot companies begin to offer customer value and benefits online which entice the reticent users to venture onto websites. Once good levels of customer service and great user experiences begin to appear around Cypriot firms’ websites actually targeting customers in Cyprus, this should help improve the proportion of locals willing to go online and even purchase online.

Once the target market is more active online, companies will need to become more emarketing-aware and begin to invest in not only understanding and appreciating planning an emarketing strategy, but also integrating it with their offline strategy and familiarizing themselves with emarketing tools such as web analytics, crucial for measurement of success and diagnosis of problems.

Younger generations in Cyprus are very active online; currently in over 10% of the population has a Facebook profile, largely due to the younger market, which is embracing technology. Mobile phone take up in Cyprus is almost 100% and mobile internet access is growing very quickly with the recent introduction of more providers, increasing competition and providing better charges for the consumer.

This provides a great foundation for the future of emarketing in Cyprus, as this generation of younger technologically-aware locals matures, they will be more receptive to online campaigns and buying online. Brands need to be ready to target them successfully by learning and testing online techniques now and perfecting their performance.

This needs to be done before they meet the future Cyprus consumer: the time-poor, sophisticated user who is very marketing-savvy, can fast forward through his adverts with his digital television, only listens to music downloaded online, ignores banners, disables pop up ads and throws direct mail in the bin, and who only visits sites which ultimately have a direct interest or benefit to him.

Cypriot firms need to be ready to not only provide an offer this customer cannot refuse, but to be able to target him in a way that he is happy for them to target them with, and in future, emarketing initiatives will be the only ones providing not only the returns but the ability to effectively measure returns, and also to form a more long-term mutually beneficial relationship with the customer.