Email Marketing vs Traditional Mail: Does A Better Option Exist?

email marketing vs traditional mail

Pitting email marketing vs traditional mail is a ridiculous fight

InConfessions of a Shopaholic(2009), Rebecca Bloomwood received a wealth of traditional mails from the stores she has subscribed to. Those consist of promotional campaigns and credit card bills. Her expression is full of horror and disappointment. Yet, as technology becomes more advanced, people mostly change to email. Now, as a business owner, which you should choose between email marketing vs traditional mail?

To reflect on the question, do you think Rebecca Bloomwood will feel the same when she receives an email? Or she will directly put it on the spam folder? Before you can answer those, let us compare and contrast email marketing vs traditional mail objectively.

The definition of email marketing vs traditional mail

  • Email marketing is a part of digital marketing that sends primarily promotional messages to a group of people using email. 
  • A traditional mail, contrarily, is processed and sent using postal services.

Characteristics of email marketing vs traditional mail

  • Email marketing

An email is sent within seconds. In line with that fact, email marketing is considered a quick and spontaneous channel of communication. It also proves that the company is tech-savvy and modern. However, email is more informal than traditional mail because it can contain emojis and a more friendly language style.

  • Traditional mail

As it requires logo, signature, and letterhead, traditional mail is believable and reliable like what top associations say that mail is “a medium of authority”. Sometimes, you will receive the sealed envelope in traditional mail. Therefore, it looks perfectly official or formal.  

Pros and cons of email marketing vs traditional mail

Pros email marketing

Email marketing is fast and instant

Based on a survey conducted by Royal Mail MarketReach, 302 respondents say that email is quick. It is because you can just click and the receiver will get the email within seconds.

  • Email marketing has a higher ROI

Compared to traditional mail, email marketing has a higher ROI. For 1 USD spent, you can get 40 USD in return. In traditional mail, you only get 7 USD in return with the same amount of money you spend.

  • You can have downloadable kinds of media

If you promote the campaign using bonuses, you can just attach the PDF file or educating the video in the email. Moreover, you can use CTA buttons to directly lead the subscribers to your website.

Cons email marketing

People cannot get enough of spam

70 percent of the UK email users say that they receive too many emails. This fact is such bad news because people can easily drag your emails to spam folders or the applications do it automatically.

  • Building email lists is hard

Many marketers struggle on how to build an email database. Furthermore, when they do not notice growth in the email list, they usually will go to the best email database providers, which can be another business expense.

  • Email marketing is complex

Do you think email marketing only revolves around typing the message and sending it? You hold a big misconception there.

If people really understand how to be email marketing specialists, they will maximize every feature in email marketing tools to get the best outcome. And once you dig deep into this, you will realize that email marketing is more complicated than you think.

Pros traditional mail

Traditional mail makes the recipients feel more valued

The perceived value of traditional mail is associated with physical interactions. They will spend a lot of time reading it and grab their attention since it has “the authority”. Due to the same reason, you can also get a better impression from your customers.

  • You can receive a higher open and response rate

A traditional mail may sound old school, but it drives a higher response rate than email marketing. You can get an average 4,4 percent response rate, while an email can only bring you an average response rate of 0,12 percent.

  • Traditional mail can generate more customers

A study conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reveals that a traditional mail directs 10 percent more customers with 44 percent than email marketing (34 percent).

Cons traditional mail

Traditional mail can be expensive

Let us calculate the spending when you use a traditional mail. You need to print the paper which costs you paper and ink. Do not forget to put it in the envelope and stamp it. Not to mention the postal service whose price always increases each year.

  • The delivery takes a long time

The receivers cannot receive the mail in seconds just like they do in email marketing. They have to wait at least a day if you use the postage unless you have The ‘Anywhere’ Door from Doraemon.

  • People keep the mail first

After the traditional mail is received, people tend to keep it first! They usually have a schedule to open the mails altogether. Therefore, you need to wait around 17 days to see whether your promotion is successful.

Instead of pitting email marketing vs traditional mail, why don’t you combine those?

You have known the pros and cons of email marketing vs traditional mail above. Actually, there is a way to gather the pros by conducting multichannel marketing. To optimize every advantage from using those channels, you have to know when to use which. 

Based on the explanation above, you can spot that email marketing works better in increasing brand awareness, ROI, and customer experience. Therefore, you had better send an email when:

  • You want to let your customers know about current news and updates.
  • They need follow-up messages or confirmation about deliveries and others.
  • The receivers are your potential customers that never used your products or services.

Meanwhile, the traditional mail outperforms email marketing in customer acquisition, response rate, and authority. Use a traditional mail when you want to:

  • remind them about the bills and statements
  • send the customers brochures that need a lot of time to read
  • give them loyalty rewards.

Rather than put email marketing vs traditional mail in a boxing ring, maximize their pros by incorporating them!