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Denise Keller

Coupling Direct Mail with Email Marketing

Mar 03 2011, 12:44 PM by

Last week I compared the prices of traditional mailing to online marketing techniques and analyzed the advantages of email over direct mail. However, despite the costs, direct mail is still alive and well as a viable marketing technique. When used with email marketing, direct mail has the capacity to be more targeted, personalized and effective than without. So the question remains, is direct mail still worth exploring with your business? That depends. If you are an email marketer considering branching out into other channels, direct mail could be the perfect fit. Here are some things you can do to make direct mail and email marketing live together in harmony.
Keep Your Branding Consistent
When combining marketing techniques, it is essential to ensure that your brand is consistent across all channels. So the print media you send via direct mail should have the same logos, slogans and other brand identifying elements as your email campaigns. Creating consistency makes it much easier for your marketing channels to feed off one another. For example, you could introduce a new prospect to your direct mail program with a nice welcome package and then follow up via email with a discount or special offer to keep the momentum going. The more consistent your brand and marketing message, the better your results will be.
Get Your Timing Down
Discovering the right frequency is important in both techniques, but when it comes to melding them together, timing is an even greater issue. Time your communications just right and you could be the recipient of excellent response rates. If you send out a direct mail piece promoting an upcoming product launch and then follow up with an offer on that product a week or two later, you might catch subscribers when their interest is still high and they are more likely to deal. There is no surefire way to predict when the consumer will pull the trigger, but if you coordinate the right timing between your marketing efforts, you can make sure your business is fresh on their minds when they are ready to buy.
Create a Tracking System
Traditionally, one factor that has made direct mail less attractive is the inability to accurately measure the performance of your campaigns. Aside from a huge spike in sales, tracking your success can be very difficult in this arena. The good thing is that the performance of your direct mail marketing has become much easier to keep up with. You can track your campaigns by including a URL on each individual piece. The URL should correspond to a personalized landing page specifically designed for individual subscribers. This could take some work depending on the size of your list, but once a subscriber visits that personalized URL, you will be able to track their conversion from pre-sale to post-sale. It's not a perfect system by any means, but it should be enough to measure your recipient's engagement.

Leveraging one proven channel is great, but taking advantage of two is even better. As effective as email may be, you will limit your potential when you limit yourself to a single platform. With an integrated marketing strategy, you are in a position to maximize that potential. How far are you willing to go?

Posted in Tips & Resources

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