Postal vs. Email: Odd Couple or Match Made in Heaven?

Some say opposites attract, but email and postal are a match made in heaven. Both are direct media and both want to elicit a response from the intended audience. The only place they differ is in their delivery, but so what? You don’t have to choose one or the other. You can have your cake and eat it too! All you need to do is figure out which one is Venus and which one is Mars for a campaign that creates a lasting impression.

  • Create Harmony – Postal mail and email can have a lasting effect on those they encounter. Be strategic about how this team works together to deliver maximum impact. For example, when planning a campaign, schedule your email campaigns to arrive in the inbox the same day your direct mail piece arrives in the mailbox. This way you reach the consumer from multiple touch points. How’s that for multi-channel harmony!
  • Avoid Conflict – Always send a unified message. Each channel has its own style, but be careful not to cannibalize your multi-channel efforts. For instance, offering 20% off through email, but only 10% off in the catalog can turn off your audience. If you want these two to have a long lasting relationship that people will welcome into their homes, make sure they aren’t battling for attention.
  • Give Each of them Their Own Space – There is a time and place for everything. Integrating these channels can be very effective, but consider your audience and product before executing a multi-channel campaign. They don’t have to go everywhere together. Sometimes postal is more effective, other times email is the way to go, but when they work as a team, you reap the best results. Victoria’s Secret does a great job of integrating their online, offline and catalog businesses by coordinating their offers with in-store events and timeless incentives that translate online and in their seasonal catalogs.

Email is a hot channel; it gets more attention because it usually elicits the greatest response. However, while more cost effective than “sure and steady” direct mail (especially with postal rates on the rise), you should never consider email a cheap date. The only way email will work for you is if think of it as a long term relationship building channel rather than as a quick fix. Hey, they say behind every good man is a good woman. I think the same holds true for postal and email. By the way, I think we just figured out which one is Venus and which one is Mars.

Happy Valentines Day!

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