Hybrid Mail vs Direct Mail: Finding the Best Communication Solution for Your Business

Experience the best of both worlds with our innovative hybrid mail solution, blending the tangible impact of direct mailings with the conveniences of cost-effective digital marketing.

Hybrid Mail vs Direct Mail: Finding the Best Communication Solution for Your Business

So you have an important message and promo mail campaign to share with your customers and leads you have been nurturing carefully. You've already prepared the perfect draft; it's time to dispatch it to potential customers.

Your business has long been relying on direct mail services. However, with your team adopting hybrid work and team members scattered in home offices across the city, coordinating the mail marketing program is an uphill battle.

The printing, assembling, and handling postage through royal mail or other door-drop providers is time-consuming and resource-intensive. Yet, you cannot accurately track your Return on Investment (ROI).

What if there is a better way of handling your direct mailings better? A solution that integrates the tangible impact of receiving a direct mail piece or physical mail yet offers many conveniences of cost-effective digital marketing like great ROI?

Welcome to the world of hybrid mail – a solution that blends digital marketing with traditional direct mail marketing campaigns.

Can you fully rely on hybrid mail to take over your direct mail campaigns and effectively reach your clients? Let’s find out!

Understanding direct mail

Before we dive into how hybrid mail can ease your marketing strategy, let's take a moment to understand how direct mail works and what it offers.

How does direct mail work?

Direct mail is a traditional mail campaign where a company sends physical or tangible promotional materials and marketing messages to potential clients through direct mailers or self-mailers.

Businesses can send postcards, brochures containing discount codes, catalogues, or even letters with personalised notes. The process typically involves several steps.

  1. Drafting: Creating and designing the ideal advertising mail or direct marketing material for targeted and right customers.
  2. Printing: For sending direct mail, businesses print in bulk and sort them based on customer data.
  3. Packaging: Businesses then assemble and correctly put the mail marketing materials to prepare them for delivery.
  4. Postage: Many businesses use franking machines to streamline the stamping and postage process.
  5. Delivery: The final stage involves sending the mail to someone's house or business address through a direct mailer or other delivery channels.

Benefits of direct mail

Direct mail advertising offers several benefits:

  • Tangible: Rarely can you beat the appeal of a creative, handwritten note, which you can include in your direct mail campaign.
  • Broader reach: If your target audience has a low online presence, reaching out through direct marketing is often easier and more effective than email marketing or online display ads.
  • More engagement: The recipient can touch and feel it, translating into a richer engagement.

Limitations of direct mail

Despite its advantages, traditional direct mail campaigns also include various limitations, such as:

  • Costly: If you compare sending mail to other cost-effective ways of marketing, you'll often find it costs you more money.
  • Incompatibility with hybrid work: Direct mail costs are not limited to the monetary value of the materials used. Rather it expands to the work hours of your team members. The process is not very compatible with the hybrid working culture.
  • Lack of personalisation: Using digital marketing tools, you can create carefully engineered messages to appeal to the audience. Such personalisation is complex and expensive with direct mailing.
  • Low trackability: You'll find it difficult to measure the success or ROI of your mail campaign as you don't usually have access to the customer engagement data you can collect from social media or your website.

Advantages of hybrid mail over direct mail

Hybrid mail combines the best of digital and direct mail. Let's examine a few core advantages that make it a worthy alternative.

  • Cost-effective: You can save substantial money and investment requirements by outsourcing printing and postage.
  • Tangibility and tracking: Hybrid mail lets you deliver tangible promotional material or entirely trackable letters, like digital mail. For example, Pitney Bowes shares a QR code to help you always know the status of your campaign, even in uncertain times.
  • Freeing up staff time: Once you hand over the mail-handling tasks to a reliable partner like Pitney Bowes, you can free up staff time and focus on what matters the most.
  • Compliance: A trustworthy hybrid mail provider guarantees your customer data is secure.

Apart from these advantages of hybrid mail, there's also one area where it genuinely stands out: personalisation.

Hybrid mail for small-scale and targeted mail campaigns: An ideal use case

Personalisation is one of the best ways to reduce marketing noise from your promotional materials. Traditional direct mail takes a batch-and-blast approach where your print and prepare the entire package in batches and dispatch it.

Adding personalisations like different salutations or names will tax your time and valuable resources.

On the other hand, the hybrid mail approach changes it all. Here, your mailing partner will take care of the entire process without you having to do anything except draft and upload the mail to the server.

Interestingly, you won't have to pay anything extra for the added customisations. The cost-effectiveness and convenience make hybrid mail an ideal solution for small businesses looking to run small-scale and targeted mail campaigns with tight deadlines and budgets.

The transition from direct to hybrid mail: All you need to know

Fortunately, the transition from direct to hybrid mail is relatively easy. All you need is a reliable provider like Pitney Bowes.Here's how it goes:

  • Step 1: Draft your marketing letter or promotional material as you have done before. Save it in Word or PDF format.
  • Step 2: Upload to your hybrid mail provider's portal.
  • Step 3: Hit the print button.

Did we mention that you can do it right from your home office while sipping your evening coffee?

Right after you hit the print button, your hybrid mail provider will handle the entire process on your behalf for a fixed per-mail cost. You can also track the status of your mail and know engagement metrics like average response rate.

Pitney Bowes can be your Hybrid mailing partner

Transition to hybrid mailing if you want to supercharge your business’s digital transformation. Where do you start? The first step is to partner with the right provider, making your transition smooth and effortless.

Pitney Bowes can fulfil your direct mail services while providing the conveniences of digital mail, like cost saving, personalisation, and operational efficiencies.

Reach out now for help from our experts. It's as easy as clicking a button.