Five Must-know Facts About E-mail and Direct Mail
He also says that current news works better in e-mail because it normally takes a minimum of two weeks to get direct mail out and delivered. “The world could change in that time! And e-mail takes just hours and its immediacy lends itself to news,” explains Stein.
Meanwhile, direct mail is the best choice for reaching audiences that do not spend a good deal of time at the PC, while e-mail often is best for reaching PC-oriented prospects, especially heavy users of the Internet, says Bly. In other words, hopefully you’ll know some of this information about your prospects before you approach them through either channel.
Copy-wise, Bly says the direct mail letter is long, and the reply form just briefly sums up the proposition. “[But] if we think of the e-mail as the letter and the landing page the e-mail is hyperlinked to as the ‘order form,’ then the division is different. It can be 90/10 … 50/50 … 10/90 … or any combination. I prefer 10/90,” reveals Bly, who uses short teaser e-mails to drive clicks to the long-copy sales letter posted on the landing page. He says this way you do the hard work of writing a strong sales letter once and post it on a URL. Then you can experiment with many different short e-mails to see which generates the greatest clickthrough rate.
Overall, e-mail obviously has to get to the point more quickly. “E-mail copy is normally one-third as long as you would write in a direct mail package. Story-type copy, such as ‘They laughed when I sat down at the piano,’ will not work in e-mail,” claims Stein, who recommends that e-mail subject lines not be any more than seven or eight words.