A lot has happened in the world of marketing since the dawn of the digital revolution. Email and direct mail marketing have mostly been used independently, but savvy marketers are today joining them together as a multi-channel strategy. If you’re not getting the results you expect from an email-driven campaign, even after A/B testing, consider augmenting (advantaging!) it with direct mail. So, how can direct mail bolster email?
Consumers gather information in different ways, and sometimes your email never finds your target’s inbox. Many email marketing platforms make promises of high deliverability, but how can you be certain your message is actually getting there, let alone read? Zen Marketing heavily relies on the expertise of Constant Contact® to insure deliverability (we have been an affiliated Solution Provider for over eight years).
Direct mail has long been associated with canvas marketing and largely utilized for casting a wide net. The postal services EDDM program has played a role in expanding this approach even more. Plus, there are newer techniques to using a direct mail piece other than simply sending a postcard or letter. Combining a cleverly crafted direct mail piece, and using it for lead generation isn’t difficult, if designed effectively. With today’s technology, customers don’t need to pick up the phone, reply in a letter or even pick up a pencil.
QR code placement (they even come in color now) on the offer is a great way for new customers to become connected. Allowing your audience to scan a QR code you can direct them to a highly targeted, dedicated landing page, where they can share their name and email address in exchange for a freemium of some kind. In this manner you can aggressively expand your lead list, and possibly make someone’s day with a unique offering.
The tools and approaches help tighten the loop and allow for greater and more specific targeting.
Email is the Work Horse, Direct Mail the Finesse Tool
When a great direct mail piece is professionally and creatively crafted, open rates reach nearly 100%. The trick is that there is no trick, just a great approach. Ever heard of bulky mail? No, not bulk mail as in discounted postage with spotty delivery. Bulky or lumpy, the point is to insert a three dimensional gimmick into the envelope. Curiosity will get the best of just about everyone when something mystic comes in the postal mail.
Don’t stop there! Invest the time to craft really well written copy, include the perfect images, and insure your message provides a relevant call to action (CTA). You’d be surprised at how many direct mail pieces do not employ a call to action. Dan Kennedy, a direct marketing author penned the “3 Letter Sequence” which has been used by many marketers with terrific success. Also, his NO B.S. Series set of 14 books has so much information you’d be amazed. Now I am not trying to sell his stuff; I respect his talent, and find him to be a great resource of information.
Lester Wunderman, nick named “the father of direct marketing” has some pretty good things to say about direct mail, which can be found here.
Email is such an affordable and highly successful approach to marketing, it can be used in a volume of ways. Think about these nuggets of wisdom:
- Engagement – Your audiences are hoping to hear from you, so engage them with a newsletter, a business update, announce a sale or promotion, new product or service launch, almost anything, provided it’s relevant to them.
- Affordability – There is no less affordable way to market, unless you are wearing a sandwich board and standing in front of the courthouse. Email marketing can reach the masses, or can reach an individual, with the click of a button. With today’s autoresponders you can create an automated approach to building engagement, always working, even while you are at the beach.
Plus, your message can go from black and white to full color – it can even include a video, too.
- Segmentation – Pigeon-hole your audiences as narrow or wide focus as you see fit. Targeting and personalizing your marketing via email marketing. Create buckets and fill those buckets with the different personas your ideal clientele represents.
- Flexibility – Reach your customer base to accomplish mass communications like a newsletter, special offering, announcement of something special, or just to stay in touch. With the rapid growth of mobile, your message can reach your intended audience on their schedule.
- Ease of use – There couldn’t a much easier way to reach out to those you know, and for those you would like to the ability to cross-pollenate your email with different social networking platforms has never been easier.
Direct mail doesn’t have to be a sales tool all the time. As a lead generation tool, you can offer a digital coupon that drives new leads to you. You can also run a contest, using the mail piece as a driver to your website or landing page to enter. Use a post card to offer a digital freemium like an eBook, White Paper or video. Link them together to learn more about your target audiences. The message can be a lead gen, nurture or general post. Backing up the snail mail with Email is a great way to make sure your buyer gets the message. After all, not everyone reads “junk” mail, nor do they fully absorb every email. If, however, you had a hard address and no email, and they responding by being enticed, encouraged or cajoled, you now have a mechanism to convert them over to email marketing.
No one said you had to be an email aficionado. Direct mail is another story, but there are many agencies and mailing houses that can aid with the complexities of direct mail.
As was already mentioned there are a lot of options for autoresponders (again, we really like the power of Constant Contact®’s autoresponder), so dress them up and coordinate the style and color scheme to the direct mail. Or, you can do what a lot of people do by sticking to the color scheme of their brand’s logo.
There are many, many digital tools within an autoresponder, so get to know them. Newsletters, invitations, announcements, contests or surveys, there’s literally no end. It’s great to have an in-house creative but for many small businesses the right solution is to outsource their marketing planning and tactics to an agency. The right agency can ensure the right messages go out, at the right time, and with the right look and feel. If you don’t have an agency, there are all sorts of graphic artists, designers, and other effective companies that can provide the pieces for you to build on.
As you may already know, here at Zen Marketing we strive to provide everything your small business might possibly need to execute your marketing campaigns and help your business compete alongside the big companies. It’s as simple as a phone call to our office, or drop us an email. We’re a full service marketing firm, with our own copy writers, graphic artists and designers, email script writers, and a lot more. Feel free to ask about a no-obligation marketing consultation.