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.

Avoid Some of the Common Network Marketing Mistakes

After being involved in network marketing for over 25 years I continually see some of the same mistakes being made over and over again.

Create a Plan

You absolutely must have a plan. This plan does not need to be elaborate. This plan does not have to have all of the answers. What this plan does need is some basic information about what your goals are and how you’ll achieve them.

All too often I see someone so excited to begin their business and then get so discouraged when sales don’t pour in. Sales are not pouring in because there is no marketing plan. There is no one right way to create sales, but without a plan most end up floundering until they quit.

Create a Budget

This is another common mistake I see people make. There are always start up fees to begin a network marketing business but often people don’t think beyond that start up fee. There is disappointment when a month later they discover there is more money to be spent.

Create a budget that takes into account catalogs, a website, samples, demonstration products and marketing.

Like your plan above, your budget does not need to be elaborate but you need to know what you can expect to spend your first year in business as you get your business off the ground.

Create a Schedule

Most of us wear several hats in any one given day. We are mom or dad, son or daughter and either husband or wife along with network marketing distributor. Have you ever wondered how it is that those who seem the busiest also seem to be able to add just one more thing to their plate? Often it’s scheduling.

If you work 8 hours per day and you sleep 7 hours per day, you still have 9 hours in the day left for all other activities. A lot can be done in 9 hours.

Create a schedule of what your days and weeks will look like.

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.