I don’t believe there would be much argument that email rather than mail is a better form of communication for most businesses. The almost instantaneous sending and receiving of email can cut days and weeks off the business transaction, an unlimited amount of data can be sent to support the contents of the communication, and for now it is generally free. Mail on the other hand offers none of those conveniences and I’ve recently begun to wonder if there is still a need for the US Postal Service. Sure, there are still people who send out personal correspondence via mail but I think that a hand written letter is a thing of the past. In fact, for the first time in perhaps twenty-five years I hand wrote a letter to a lifelong friend of mind. The letter was messy with a combination of cursive, printing and abbreviations taking much longer than an email correspondence of the same length. While I was writing the letter I was thinking about how much more convenient emails were.
When it comes to marketing I’m not really sure whether mail or email is the better choice. For almost thirty years I’ve mailed out monthly marketing pieces to a select list of real estate prospects hoping that a brochure might prompt one of the recipients to place a call to me. It has been effective with a 2-4% response rate with about 10% of those calling leading to business. Additionally, I’ve received calls from people who had received one of my marketing pieces from a friend or had held on to a marketing piece they had received for several years prior to making a call. I’m not sure that email would have the same effect. There are the sensory components of physically shuffling through a stack of mail, looking at each piece to see who the sender is, opening the envelope and removing the contents. At the very least the contents will be viewed, perhaps reading a few lines to determine if it is work a full reading. Of course there are those envelopes that go into the trash unopened but are emails any different?
Utilizing an email broadcast service would allow my firm to send out 2 ½ times as many correspondences for the same amount of money I currently spend on a mailing campaign. I can still select an audience that is suitable to my services and the number of responses will be about the same as those I currently get from a mailing. However, when I think about how I work through my email I begin to question if such marketing is really as successful as the providers claim. I have spam filters that block 100s of emails a day. Those that make it through I can very quickly delete without doing any more than looking at the subject line. There are a few that I will open, intrigued by the subject line, but for the most part all go into the trash. What if I do find an email that holds my interest? I seldom forward the email to another and I certainly don’t save a copy of the information to a folder. So, is email more effective then mail? What are your thoughts?
CEO, Employing Broker
Katchen Company, founded in 1962, is an integrated real estate company with its corporate headquarters in Lakewood, Colorado. The company offers real estate development, redevelopment, property management, brokerage, consulting services, construction oversight and maintenance services to individual and institutional real estate investors throughout the greater Denver metropolitan area in Denver with satellite offices in Chicago, Las Vegas and Miami market areas.