Inbox vs. Mailbox: The Power of Direct Marketing

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Since the dawn of time, or at least the dawn of email, marketers have debated the efficiency and effectiveness of direct mail channels. Their main focus of concentration: the inbox vs. the mailbox. Which channel is the very best for reaching customers and delivering the best ROI? Well, let’s look at the stats:


  • According to Statista, in 2020 there were 4.037 email users worldwide.
  • Litmus reported an ROI of 42:1 for email marketing investment.

Direct Mail

  • According to a 2018 Direct Marketing Association report, up to 90 percent of direct mail gets opened, while only 20-30 percent of emails are opened. And the response rate for direct mail is up to 9x higher than that of email.
  • A recent Forbes article highlighted the fact that 50 percent of consumers have tried a new product, service, or establishment in the past six months after receiving a direct mail advertisement.

So, which one is the best one? Both and neither.

In reality, brands drive the best results when they use a host of direct marketing channels. Relying on the old adage, “reaching the right person, through the right channel, at the right time.”

In other words, omnichannel direct marketing provides direct results.

After all, not every prospect or client is the same, so why would the same channel(s) work for everyone?

Starting your own omnichannel direct marketing campaign is as simple and as difficult as listening to and knowing your audience. What might this look like in practical application?

Step 1: Define the Right Channel Mixture

Like we said, not every channel will work for every person. Segmenting your audience will let you more specifically define the channels that your audience engages with most actively. Because you’re never going to connect with your audience if you can’t even reach them.

Step 2: Find Your Message

Speaking of segmentation, generic messaging has proven to be exceptionally ineffective. Personalizing your message to your audience (and their pain points) will ensure every moment is a moment of connection–working together to create a contextualized conversation, engaging your audience for this moment and the next.

Step 3: Test Out the Variables

Whether it’s A/B testing a subject line or a CTA, analyzing your variables will give you insight into exactly what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. Helping you to refine your future direct marketing efforts. Just make sure you aren’t testing more than one variable at a time, lest you wind up not knowing what caused which result.

Ready to see the results of an omnichannel direct marketing campaign for your brand? Start your messages, it’s time to connect.