Together at Last! Direct Mail and E-Mail
First impressions mean everything and your impression should be reinforced—many times, and in multiple channels—until the decision maker you want to influence sees you as a recognizable brand.
Multi-channel marketing is about using various mediums to reach your customer. There is an ever-expanding breadth of multi-channel opportunities that work well individually and in conjunction with each other. The more marketing channels used, the more chances of reaching potential customers. Reaching people at different touch points reinforces those touches and makes you, your company, and your offer more memorable and more desirable.
This two-ply marketing will strengthen your brand, especially if your marketing campaigns maintain a consistent look or theme across channels. You'll gain mind share, and that will lead to greater ROI.
Direct mail and email never should be in competition with each other. When used together, it can help you better reach your intended audience and ensure the message you want to communicate is delivered. When you have an understanding of how things are performing you can adjust as necessary. In other words, be sure to test, test, and test again!
And don’t forget to give them a reason to click through, even when you're not asking for an order. Offer a free white paper or other incentive that drive them to the Web site. Once they are there, make sure there's a registration form or additional interactive activities. The success of a marketing campaign should not fall on the shoulders of a sale, but on the initiation of dialogue. Here are some key elements to consider in your multi-channel marketing campaign:
- Know your audience: First and foremost, you need to ascertain where your audience spends their time and what communication avenues they prefer. Understanding your audience will go a long way in the success of strategically placed multi-channel campaigns.
- Brand Consistency: By marketing across multiple channels, you are in control of your brand. This allows you to stay consistent and in charge of your reputation, in messaging and presentation, whether in print, online or on-air. Make sure your web site maintains the consistent design of your marketing materials. Feature the domain in every piece, link to it from your e-mails.
- Timing and Frequency: Tons of articles have been written on what time of the day is best to send e-mails. This is less important than the timing in connection with the print mailer. In most cases, the first e-mail should hit a week after the postal mailing piece arrives (give or take a day or two). The printed piece goes first because it has a longer shelf life.
- How often should you mail: It depends on what you're sending. Brochures and catalogs should be mailed quarterly, accompanied by monthly e-mails. Postcards and other basic printed pieces can be mailed more often. The general rule? Send two to four e-mails for every printed package.
- Create Multiple Touch Points: One of the advantages provided by multi-channel marketing is the ability to create a large number of touch points, which then provide additional data that can influence future marketing efforts. Touch points can include social media, surveys, email newsletters, mail-in items, etc.
- Expand your email subscriber list: Send a direct mail piece with a designated URL to drive the customer to a landing page to obtain their email address for future communications.
- Personalization & Segmentation: Use data to make the piece personal and the message relevant to the customer and continue to evolve your segments overtime as you learn more about your audience.
- Testing: It is important to test the effectiveness of your multi-channel efforts on an on-going basis. This not only means tracking results for multi-channel campaigns, but tracking results from a set group who don’t receive all the multi-channel communications.
- Analysis - Always track results: Companies should always measure response rates, click-through rates and any other important metrics on both mail and direct mail. It will help them plan future campaigns, which creates better experiences for clients. The channels have to work in harmony, and they have to be evaluated that way.