Is Direct Mail Still Effective?

I’m often asked “Which is better, email marketing or direct mail marketing?” While email is a very effective medium for communicating and selling customers – from the prospective of prospecting (finding NEW customers) – I feel direct mail is much more effective, and here’s 7 reasons why:

HIGHER RESPONSE. When searching for “new” customers, study after study proves regular mail will generate more new customers than email. A recent study by the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) shows direct mail being 10 to 30 times more effective than email.

HIGHER DELIVERY RATE. A good mailing list is typically 95% deliverable. On the other hand, the great majority of email lists being advertised have a delivery rate of below 50%. Also, due to the constant onslaught by spammers, the ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc) are beginning to block unsolicited emails… and for this reason some are predicting the demise of email “prospecting.” Fantastic offer, fantastic creative, fantastic list… all this is irrelevant if the ISPs don’t deliver. With regular mail — your offer gets delivered!

HIGHER OPEN RATE. With the great majority of email “prospecting” campaigns, 95+ percent of all emails are not even opened. The email recipient will either delete or transfer to the SPAM box… without even peeking at the email… your brand name. On the other hand, postal mail is a tangible item that typically captures a glance. The receiver may not read every word, but your company name/brand will gain much more awareness with postal mail than with email.

MORE PROSPECTS. Accurate — quality email addresses are very difficult to acquire — mainly because most people do not opt-in for 3rd party offers. For this reason, virtually all email lists are missing the majority of the target. Typically a good mail list offers 80% more prospects.

LONG SHELF LIFE. The shelf-life of an email offer is measured in seconds, while an offer via regular mail can linger on a coffee table for days.

LESS COMPETITION. More than ever consumers are bombarded with digital offers that they don’t want. Email is now the cluttered option, while direct mail represents the uncluttered option. With postal mail your offer will not get lost in avalanche of competitive offers.

SAFETY. This one is a biggie! With the growing threat of identity theft, viruses, and SPAM, people are becoming more and more hesitant in responding to on-line offers… even legitimate interesting offers. Regular mail is safe… the user can visit any website on his/her own time schedule and without having to click potentially dangerous links.

So, for “prospecting” as well as putting offers in front of qualified buyers (BUYERS that are looking for your product or service) that will help grow your business quickly… “old fashion” mail is much more effective than email! Email “prospecting” is losing its power. Direct mail on the other hand has never really lost its power and is in fact gaining strength. This is the very reason that even some of the biggest Internet names (Google, Facebook, Microsoft to name just a few) are major direct mail users themselves. Bottom line – companies that use regular mail will gain a competitive edge on the competitors that skip mail.

If you want to grow your business quickly and cost effectively, NOW is the time to get started on your direct mail campaign!

Appointments – Manage Your Time Better At Home to Be Effective

What would happen to you if your home life was more organized than it is right now? Can work-life balance be achieved? What are the tools at our disposal? Could scheduling appointments and keeping them at home help us save time and prioritize?

What is the challenge we face? I sometimes find that time spent at home can be the busiest time, especially in the times we live in. Imagine someone working from home, home-schooling children, and sometimes even doing a side hustle. Imagine also the full-time home-based entrepreneur. How do they manage to do all they need to do in a day?. We are living in a time when many entrepreneurs and even company employees have adopted work- at – home culture. This comes with its challenges as the lines become blurred between home and work. These blurred lines and constraints on the limited resource called time result in over-worked, under-rested, burnt-out individuals. Whilst good time management has been encouraged and indeed, embraced in the workplace, I believe more needs to be done in changing the mindset for the elusive work-life balance to be achieved.

What are the tools at our disposal? To manage time effectively at home, there are many interventions one can employ including setting goals for the day, prioritizing wisely, setting a time limit for every task, organizing oneself, and instituting the discipline of appointments. Yes, an appointment at home! We can spend time pontificating on the pros and cons of each intervention, however, I believe we need to focus on appointments and see how this can powerfully change the course of one’s day regardless of whether it’s a workday or weekend. Life is busy as it is without any intrusions. The question is how do you handle the one who announces that they are at the gate. These can be friends, neighbors, a salesman of some product you do not even need. I am not promoting regimentation here but rather a culture of filling your day with what’s important. Everything that we succeed at is because we carefully plan and execute it. I am a firm believer that you cannot manage time if you do not manage yourself thus I implore you to incorporate planning and appointments into your repertoire. I am not talking about something I do not do. I have to achieve many things in a day therefore I set appointments with my work, others, and myself.

Could scheduling appointments and keeping them on the home front help us save time and prioritize? Whereas we have established that it is a normal business practice to set appointments and keep them, we need to abandon the liberal open-door policy of allowing all and sundry to have access to us as and when they please on the home front. Please understand where I am coming from. We each have greatness within us but for us to achieve it we need to culture great habits. Employing the use of appointments at home and seeing only those people you had agreed to see removes non-essential encounters especially during the most productive hours. I know this will vary with culture, geographical region, or even level of affluence, whether you live in a low density or high-density residential area, but doesn’t negate the need to be organized and effective. Controlling access determines how organized you are and how well you will work and rest when the time for scheduled rest comes.

What do we need to do differently? We need to be disciplined and diligent, learn to say no, now is not a good time, let’s make an appointment for next week. What are the benefits of this approach? You are not always fire-fighting to meet deadlines, You are not always tired because you have not taken time out to rest. You have set aside enough time to spend with your loved ones or a loved one. If you are a busy person, I am sure you appreciate what I am saying. Whether it’s time to work uninterrupted, family time, or “me-time”, it takes some kind of order to enjoy it.

I am not saying that those that come unannounced are bad people. No, not at all, they probably are people you enjoy spending time with. Nevertheless, there must be prior communication so that you can attend to your visitor(s) when it is convenient for both you and them. It can be quite disrupting and a whole day can just pass by without achieving anything that you had planned to do.

As we grow older we begin to appreciate that rest and recovery need to be scheduled. The fact that I am relaxing doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything to do. One therefore cannot assume that just because you are at home you are available. Maybe you have scheduled that time to rest. That is important. You need to make an appointment with yourself, spouses need to also set aside time for each other. Parents need to schedule a time to spend with their children. When you have some sort of order in your life you determine who sees you and who you see. It also means that your relationships will be healthy and that makes you a happier person.

In conclusion, I believe that the work-life balance can be achieved. There are many tools at our disposal just like it is in the workplace.I believe we could do more and be happier if we are disciplined enough to make only the commitments we can keep.I am certain that setting appointments and keeping them at home help us save time and prioritize.

Fitzgerald Mujuru, a fusion of Business Coach, Personal Effectiveness Coach, Business Consultant, Marketing Strategist, Sales Zealot, Speaker, brand builder, with over twenty years in marketing and sales for globally known brands. He has vast commercial experience at management level in various sectors. His strengths include marketing, brand building, sales, business development, business strategy, management, and equipping leaders and teams with strategies for personal and team effectiveness. He has handled various consultancy assignments for companies in professional services, media, communications, training and development, non-profit organizations. He has released 4 books and published more than 200 articles online.