A mailing with a letter will always outpull a mailing without a letter
It’s one of many traditional direct mail rules that still holds true, whether you’re sending an email or a traditional snail mail campaign.
How many online marketers have taken it on board? Very few. Most email campaigns are nothing more than online leaflets. As any seasoned direct marketer will tell you, you can be much cleverer than that.
A graphics-only approach ignores the most fundamental direct response marketing truth: whatever your medium, the personal touch is worth its weight in gold.
send a colour e-leaflet on its own if you like, but response will be poor
a personalised letter (stuff like ’Dear Dave’ rather than ‘Dear Customer’) accompanied by an e-leaflet will pull much better
if you’re forced to choose, ditch the colour brochure in favour of a letter
if you’re desperate for colour, combine the two. Create a letter that includes unintrusive images
If you like re-inventing the wheel, test each approach using the ‘leaflet only’ email as your control.