Question:Should I make the switch to e-mail marketing?

Answer:Two factors conspire to present a bleak outlook for those in the direct mail industry. First, the the price of first class postage may rise any moment (sooner or later, it will). Secondly, a study by GartnerG2, a research arm of the consulting firm, Gartner, Inc., concluded emphatically that "direct mail is on the decline," quoting the enormous rise in e-mail advertising revenue (from $948 million in 2001 to $1.26 billion in 2002).

For those of us in the direct marketing trade, this shift has meant a radical change in our businesses. Case in point: three years ago, our agency produced ninety percent of its work as direct mail campaigns. Today, eighty percent of our campaigns are delivered online.

For marketers in the trenches, however, these trends pose equally important questions, namely: given the (growing) cost advantage of electronic media, does it make sense to consider direct mail as an ongoing part of your marketing mix?

The answer is less black-and-white than you might assume. And marketers would do well to ask some hard questions before they jettison direct mail altogether. Before we tackle those questions, however, you should look at the hard facts, and contributor Howard Sewell lays them out for you in his excellent article.
Read his whole article here!

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