When should you use email marketing vs. direct mail?
Sales & Marketing

When should you use email marketing vs. direct mail?

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Today, let’s chat about how to make your brand unforgettable, whether it’s through the screen or in the hand.

👉 Before we dig in, here's a 5-min demo 📺 of a collection quiz (try it here) for an apparel brand made with our POPSMASH Shopify quiz app for inspiration. Onto this week's insight! 👇

Picture this: It's morning, and you're sifting through emails. Some from unknown brands get the cold shoulder. Fast forward to the evening, you’re checking your snail mail and voilà, a glossy, tangible brochure catches your eye. It feels different, right? Here's how to make the most of this difference.


The quick tip: Use direct mail like brochures to snag new customers and email for keeping your current customers engaged. It's a one-two punch that could seriously level up your marketing game.

Why does this matter? Because understanding the strengths of each channel can help you tailor your approach for maximum impact. It's about giving the right nudge at the right time.

Wait...but why? 🤔

So, why does this strategy work like a charm?

For starters, direct mail has a certain je ne sais quoi. It’s tactile, personal, and can make a lasting impression, especially for those not yet familiar with your brand. It’s like getting a surprise gift versus another notification on your phone.

On the flip side, emails are the perfect nudge for your existing customers. They're already familiar with your brand, so a friendly reminder in their inbox can prompt them to take action.

What to watch out for ⚠️

Before you start stuffing envelopes, remember: not all customers are the same. Younger, eco-conscious crowds might not appreciate the paper trail. Always consider your audience.

How to do it ✅

Ready to mix things up? Here’s how:

  1. Segment your audience: New to the brand? Hit them with that eye-catching direct mail. Already a fan? Keep them close with personalized emails.
  2. Go personal with direct mail: Add a personal touch to your mailers – think handwritten notes or tailored offers. Make it feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
  3. Keep emails sharp & relevant: For your existing customers, keep those emails crisp, personalized, and full of goodies they can’t resist.
  4. Test & learn: Try different approaches and see what resonates with your audience. What works for a book shop might not for a beauty brand.

So, there you have it. By using direct mail to create memorable first impressions and emails to keep the conversation going, you’re setting your brand up for some serious love. Give it a go and watch your customers stick around like they’re part of the family.

Until next time, keep those mailboxes and inboxes happy!

Want to learn more? 🤓

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can dig into the nerdy details in the original marketing study.

Quote of the week 💬

"Direct mail is tangible, email is instant. Both have a place in a marketer's toolkit, like a hammer and a screwdriver in a carpenter's belt."

About the author
Gabriel Mays, the Co-Founder and CEO of POPSMASH
Gabriel A. Mays
Gabriel Mays' Website
Co-Founder & CEO at POPSMASH
Before POPSMASH, Gabe was a Director at GoDaddy and founded two startups. He was also a Marine Corps Captain, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives with his wife and two kids on Cape Cod, MA.

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