Email and print Collaboration Graphic
To suggest that a lot has happened in the world of marketing these past couple of years would be laughable, wouldn’t it? Email and direct mail marketing have long been used successfully yet mostly separately. But today’s smart marketers are joining these proven tactics together as a multi-channel strategy. If you’re not getting the statistical results you expect from your email campaigns, even after testing, why not consider enhancing your next email campaign with an application of direct mail. You read that right! A digital marketer suggesting the use of his father’s preferred method of marketing. And the reasons why are simple: consumers gather information in different ways, and sometimes your email never finds your target’s inbox.

Direct mail has been the gold standard for canvas marketing; casting a wide net. There are more techniques to using a direct mail piece than simply sending a postcard or letter. Designing a cleverly crafted direct mail piece, and using it for lead generation isn’t a difficult construct, if proven best practices with visual design, list procurement, etc. are followed. With today’s technology, customers don’t need to pick up the phone, reply in a letter or even pick up a pencil.

How? QR code placement (you can even embed a logo or print them in color now) on the offer is a great way for new customers to become connected. Through scanning your QR code you can direct them to a landing page, where they can share their name and email address in exchange for a freemium of some kind. That way you grow your digital lead list, and possibly make someone’s day with an offering. And you shift that record to a lower cost method of creating engagement.

Email is the Work Horse, Direct Mail the Finesse Tool

When a direct mail piece is creatively crafted, open rates can be 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. Just don’t stop there, craft well written copy, the perfect images, and a 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 great stands by his “3 Letter Sequence” which has been used repeatedly 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 stuff, I respect his talent, and find him to be a master.

Lester Wunderman, nicknamed “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 the following nuggets of wisdom.

Engagement – Your clients and customers are actually hoping to hear from you, when you engage them with a newsletter, a business update, announce a sale or promotion, almost anything provided it is relevant to the relationship.

Affordability – There is no less affordable way to market than email, unless you are wearing a sandwich board in front of your business. Email marketing reaches your known universe, or can reach a single individual, with the click of a button. With today’s auto-responders (full disclosure, we are a master certified Solution provider with Constant Contact and love their platform- so do our clients), your message can go from black and white to full color – include a video too – while allowing for a high level of automation. Think set and forget.

Segmentation – Pigeonhole your audiences as narrow or wide focus as you see fit. Targeting and personalizing your marketing via email marketing is simple and straight forward.

Flexibility – Reach your customer base to accomplish mass communications like a newsletter, special offering, announcement of something special, or just to stay in touch. Insert surveys, add a poll, and you’ll get a high level of participation from your audience. Then, like magic, your information appears on social networks, which further expands the reach of your brand.

Ease of use – There couldn’t a much easier way to reach out to those you know, and those you would like to.

Analysis – Professional email platforms like Constant Contact® provide insight and information into your marketing, making a high level of analysis possible. Plus the use of a proper email marketing platform can help you avoid being labeled as a spammer and blacklisted on the major ISP’s.

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 a landing page to enter. Use a postcard 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. It might reference an upcoming holiday. 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 every email. If, however, you had a hard address and no email, and they are responding by being enticed, encouraged or cajoled, you now have a way to nurture with email marketing.

Email Tools

No one said you had to be an email aficionado. Direct mail is another story, but there are great resources to help aid in your digital tools. As was mentioned there is a great deal of value using auto-responders, 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 simply sticking to the color scheme of their brand logo.

There are many digital tools within a proper email marketing platform, 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 or work with an agency, great. You should work with them to ensure the right messages go out, at the right time, with the right look and feel. If you don’t, there are all sorts of graphic artists, designers, and other effective people and companies online. And companies like Constant Contact® have hundreds of pre-defined templates if you lack a marketing partner.

As you may already know, here at Zen Marketing we have nearly everything you can possibly need to outperform the goals on your next project. It’s as simple as a phone call to our office, or drop us an email. We’re a full service marketing and advertising agency and our own copy writers, graphic artists, web designers, email script writers, and project managers… all of whom are singularly focused on the needs of small businesses.

Feel free to ask for a no obligation marketing consultation any time.