Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: mail order vs internet ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: mail order vs internet
Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: jpron-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 07 Sep 2003 14:59 PDT
Expires: 07 Oct 2003 14:59 PDT
Question ID: 253262
All other things being equal, what's more profitable in direct
marketing:  Mail order or the Internet?

Request for Question Clarification by answerguru-ga on 07 Sep 2003 15:30 PDT

Are you looking for statistics to be used as a basis for this answer
or is an answer which uses logical reasoning also acceptable? You may
also want to be more specific on the types of mail order and internet
marketing you are referring to :)


Clarification of Question by jpron-ga on 07 Sep 2003 19:56 PDT
Statistics would be nice, but logical reasoning with facts would work also.
Subject: Re: mail order vs internet
Answered By: easterangel-ga on 08 Sep 2003 05:15 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi! Thanks for the question.

It seems that based on trends and studies, email marketing is
contributing more to the bottom line than direct mail.

“Email marketing costs ten percent of traditional direct mail
campaigns. According to GartnerG2, email campaigns cost an average of
$5 - $7 per thousand compared to $500 - $700 to reach the same number
of people through traditional mail”

“A Forrester Research survey showed that 46% of recipients read email

“Forty percent of email marketing campaigns achieve a conversion rate
between one to five percent, more than double the effectiveness of
traditional direct mail campaigns. Eighty-three percent of post-sale,
targeted emails elicit an action on the part of the recipient, ranging
from additional purchases to subscribing to a related newsletter.”

“Email Marketing – Quick Stats and Facts”

“Passaic Parc's Robert Rosenthal says on average the email ROI was
nearly four times higher than direct mail returns.”

“He notes direct mail lists generally have better selectivity, but
email list selectivity improves every month. Email response rates may
be dropping, but response rates are dropping in other media, too. He
attributes part of the success of the email campaigns to treating
email as a conceptual medium, not merely sending "text mail and
pictures to death.”

“Email or Direct Mail: Which Has Better ROI?” 

“The high cost of direct mail and the broad-based nature of
traditional media such as TV and radio ads have forced marketers to
focus on customer acquisition, according to Forrester. E-mail,
however, changes the economics of the marketing equation by
eliminating postage, paper, and printing costs that account for 60
percent of direct mail's response. The low cost of e-mail means that
promoting lower-cost items and communicating with less frequent buyers
can be profitable.”

“Let the E-Mail Marketing Onslaught Begin”,,5941_317871,00.html

“Of study respondents, 76% reported they are planning to increase
their email marketing volume in 2003, while 12% reported they will
decrease outbound email volume (see Figure 3). This indicates a strong
expectation among companies conducting email marketing campaigns of a
steady increase in the number of email subscribers, customers, online
members and readers they will reach though 2003.”

“Email Marketing Trends 2003 A study by Arial Software”

Search strategies:     
2003 "direct mail" "email marketing" response rate
I hope these links would help you in your research. Before rating this
answer, please ask for a clarification if you have a question or if
you would need further information.
Thanks for visiting us.                 
Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by jpron-ga on 08 Sep 2003 08:28 PDT
That's good info, but I was actually questioning if more money was
made from direct marketing overall by mail, or by the internet
overall, whether by websites with sales letters on them, etc.  I'm
sorry if I didn't clarify that better.

Clarification of Answer by easterangel-ga on 08 Sep 2003 16:34 PDT
Hi again jpron-ga!

It seems that online marketing does indeed make more money for
companies than direct mail.

Online marketing does not only have a high clickthrough rate but has
higher conversion rates as well.

"Compared to traditional direct mail campaigns, the results of e-mail
campaigns offer a very compelling contrast. A successful targeted
e-mail campaign will, in most cases, generate conversion rates in the
high single digits (8-9%); whereas with direct mail, marketers are
doing cartwheels if they achieve a 1-2% conversion. What's more,
e-mail campaigns are much less expensive to execute, ultimately
resulting in an exponentially more efficient ROI."

"ROI: Making the Digital Space Work Harder and Smarter" 

Online marketing using "search Engine Optimization" contribute more to

Conversion rate (promotion recipient to sale)

"Search Engine Optimization" =  3.9%
Direct Mail = 1.0 to 2.0%

"Search Engine Marketing: Can You Afford Not To?"


"Since deploying the first e-mail campaign two years ago, the company
has learned that conducting one monthly e-mail campaign costs less
than four direct-mail campaigns every year and is more effective,
because the frequency of communication with e-mail grew four times
greater than with direct-mail pieces. E-mail also has enabled the
collection of customers' mailing addresses, which Binford says always
had posed a challenge for the shoe chain previously. "Our e-mail
campaign was an opportunity to prompt the customer to update her
information," she says."

"Sales also jumped, and response rates to in-store campaigns climbed
to 50% to 70%. Nine West measures campaign results by monitoring
click-through rates, looking at purchase conversion and examining open
rates. The company found that click-through rates totaled 18% during
the first six months of deployment, and Web sales saw a 20% to 40%
rise. Since spring 2001, the Web site has received a steady 28% to 30%
click-through rate. Prospecting campaigns also have met with positive
results. A recent one generated the highest click-through rate the
store has ever received, a huge purchase conversion and many e-mail
signups. "Our e-mails are seeing four and a half times the
click-through than the industry standard," Binford adds."

"Targeted e-mail messaging is sure fit for Nine West",289142,sid11_gci854024,00.html

I hope that the clarification enhances my original answer.

Best Regards,
jpron-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy