Effective Marketing in 2011 – Direct Mail Vs Email Marketing

Reaching out to maximum customers in the shortest possible time is the basis of marketing. Direct mail marketing for your business is the age-old strategy of promoting your products and services by mailing newsletters, printed ads, catalogs, letters and other business mails to the targeted market. Over the time as technology developed, and internet came to the fore, the marketing strategies also took a complete turn. Enabling instant communication to a vast number of individuals, email marketing was seen as the new revolution in the marketing world.The traditional form of direct mail marketing for your business including collecting customer addresses, preparing advertisement leaflets, applying postage and mailing them, all took a backseat. Instead email marketing with its extremely low operation cost, instant gratification and the ability to connect with a large number of consumers at the same time emerged as a far more preferable alternative. Thus, leaving the traditional marketing style of physically posting newsletters, direct mail marketing for your business took the form of sending advertising communication through emails. With information being sent from one corner of the world to another within seconds, the speed of the new system was its biggest advantage. Email marketing allowed entrepreneurs to reach out to consumers with personalized and dynamic messages. Advertisers too could connect with email subscribers who had opted-in to receive email communication from them. But as with any overused system, flaws emerged in email marketing too.The biggest problem associated with email marketing is the possibility of being viewed as spam emails. Everyday internet users receive a large number of unsolicited emails posing as genuine business communication. The increasing number of spam emails has led to the development of stronger spam filters, spam laws and users being more cautious about the mails they receive. Emails with subject line resembling spam emails are now automatically sent to the spam folder or are deleted without even opening, which ultimately costs the marketer.With the development of newer applications like blogging, article writing, affiliate marketing and social networking, the dimensions of online marketing are undergoing further change. However, email marketing still occupies a major position in the marketing world. The latest trend is to combine the positive aspects of both traditional marketing and online marketing to create a form of blended marketing.With this type of marketing strategy email marketing can be combined with direct mail marketing for your business to achieve greater results. Emails can be used to introduce an advertising campaign which would create awareness among the customers about your product or service, which can then be followed up by direct mails. Alternatively, a direct mail campaign can also be followed up by emails containing purchase links which would enable the customers to land up directly on the shopping page. Hence, despite certain disadvantages, email marketing continues to be an effective form of marketing.