Direct Mail Vs. TV Advertising: Everything you Need to Know

Ron Kelly

Ron Kelly About The Author

Feb 9, 2021 2:28:00 PM


Direct Mail Vs. TV Advertising: Everything you Need to Know

Both TV and direct mail can help you expand your brand's reach, but marketers sometimes have trouble deciphering which one is best suited to their advertising goals. Both have their pros and cons, but TV remains one of the most effective platforms for businesses, as the average viewer watches around 2 hours and 46 minutes of TV every day. Of course, many people also check their mail. About 41% of recipients of all ages eagerly anticipate their daily walk to the mailbox.

When it comes to choosing between TV vs. direct mail, there are a few key factors to consider. In some cases, you might benefit from using both, depending on your marketing goals and budget. Let’s explore.

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1. TV has a broad reach

TV has unbeatable scale and reach. Ninety percent of adults aged 18 and older watch TV at least once a week. With direct mail, your reach is limited to local audiences within a restricted geographic area. However, TV commercials can target many other audiences simultaneously. 

2. Direct mail can be sent to large groups

Direct Mail Vs. TV Advertising: Everything you Need to KnowAlthough direct mail is considerably limited compared to TV, you can use it to reach audiences who are likely interested in your offerings. You can send direct mail to target audiences of any size, but keep in mind that your available budget will dictate just how large your campaigns can be. Unlike other marketing efforts, you'll need to consider the cost of printing and mailing.  

3. TV tells a story

TV ads can also enable you to tell a compelling story that moves your audience. You can demonstrate, educate and visually showcase  your offerings using site, sound, color, motion and emotion to help introduce people to your brand while speaking more directly to your audience and empathizing with them through an impactful story. As a result, your TV ads are likely to resonate more effectively among audiences than less dynamic direct mail pieces.

4. Direct mail is more promotional

If your primary marketing goal is to promote your brand and offerings, direct mail can be useful. However, it's more limited when it comes to the ways you can convey a brand message. You won't have as much physical space to include rich content that introduces your brand, establishes an emotional connection, and educates your audience about your business. Instead, direct mail content is typically confined to brief promotions and concise messages.

5. TV engages the senses

Screen Shot 2021-02-02 at 2.18.49 PMPeople exposed to your TV ads will benefit from an audio-visual experience that blends sound and images. This can enable your audiences to engage with your ads and messaging more effectively. Using a combination of eye-catching visuals and audio such as emotional musical cues, you can establish a much stronger connection with audiences.

6. Direct mail doesn't prompt much emotion

The limited messaging and static nature of direct mail makes it harder to elicit an emotional response from recipients. As a result, direct mail audiences tend to simply glance at mail pieces before setting them aside or throwing them out altogether. While they may find some use for promotional offers included in the content, they aren't likely to feel strongly about your brand based on these pieces.

7. TV gets digested even if the viewer isn't fully paying attention

People today often perform other tasks while watching TV, whether they're browsing the internet on a mobile device or completing chores around the house. They may appear not to pay attention to what's playing on TV in the background, but people do absorb some information or recall an ad, even if they aren't actively engaged. With repeat exposure to your ads, you have the chance to increase people's recollection of your brand.

8. Direct mail has a chance of getting discarded

Direct Mail Vs. TV Advertising: Everything you Need to KnowRecipients of direct mail advertising often receive a pile of other mail pieces surrounding it. If your mail pieces get lost in the mix, people are more likely to dismiss and ignore them. Even if you design your mail to stand out, people may not trust these ads as much as other media. For instance, people tend to trust TV and print ads more than direct mail, as ads that appear on TV and in magazines come from trusted platforms. Even if people hang on to your mail pieces, they're likely to wind up forgotten over time as they sit in a stack of other mail and gather dust.

9. TV produces high ROI

You can generate more ROI with the help of effective TV advertising, with the ability to earn as much as $6.50 for every dollar spent on commercials. TV can provide better ROI because of its extended reach, emotional connection with audiences, and the increased trust that comes with seeing your commercials on reputable networks.

Direct mail can still be an effective medium, mainly when promoting new offerings or sales, but TV advertising can develop a stronger connection with audiences. An integrated marketing approach might be ideal if you can effectively use both mediums, but TV is often the better option if you want to advertise your brand.

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Topics: Marketing ROI