E-Mail Myths and Realities
Myth: E-mail pulls two or three times better than direct mail.
Reality: Not if it's an outside list or a mass list. The concept of 5-percent to 10-percent response is nonsense. If a direct mail offer pulls 5 percent, an e-mail campaign with the same offer would be lucky to get 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent. If direct mail costs $400/M, a 5-percent response equates to a cost of $8 per reply. If e-mail costs $5/M, a .01-percent response equates to a cost of $5 per reply. E-mail leads, and e-mail buyers, haven't been proven to be as valuable as direct mail generated responses, probably because it's too easy to "click" and respond.
Myth: The rules of direct marketing have been suspended.
Reality: The same tried-and-true principles of direct mail apply. You spend tens of thousands of dollars to create a new direct mail package or TV commercial. Can you reasonably expect to spend pennies on e-mail and attain the same results? You hire world-renowned copywriters for your direct mail and DRTV, yet expect a young computer wizard with no direct response experience to create ground-breaking and effective e-mails. You use the finest direct marketing agencies and consultants to assist you with direct mail or DRTV, but think you can accomplish the same results internally when you create e-mails. You focus on attention, interest, desire and action (AIDA) when creating direct mail or DRTV but ignore these fundamental principals when doing e-mail.
Myth: With e-mail, you don't need compelling headlines and benefit-oriented copy.
Reality: Whether it's direct mail, direct response television or direct response e-mail, you need headlines, benefits, features and urgency. AIDA has not been retired. Copywriters and graphic designers labor over direct mail packages for weeks. E-mails are created in minutes. The technical people have no concept of what the word "offer" means. They don't know the difference between features and benefits, nor do they understand the importance of creating a sense of urgency, etc.