Here’s how email and direct mail complement one another

Last week I talked about the differences between using direct mail vs. email, and I wondered why we always talk about one over the other, and why more companies don’t combine the two to take advantage of what they both offer?

Since I previously covered the benefits of email, let’s consider some of the strengths that direct mail provides:

  • Direct mail has the ability to segment and harness real-time transactional data, optimizing lists to identify the best prospects to acquire.
  • The 2016 DMA Response Rate Report states that household response rate for direct mail was over 3%, compared to email at 0.1%.
  • Direct Mail is perceived as more personal and there’s something about being able to hold/touch it. It has the ability to connect the physical and digital worlds together for the omnichannel brand experience.

If you are looking to acquire new prospects, then direct mail is a no-brainer. Email cannot compete. I don’t know any company that does not want to find new customers, do you?  This is why I am a big proponent of combining both channels when it comes to effective communications.

One of the biggest reasons that marketers do not often combine both email and direct mail tactics is because there isn’t really a common set of tools that makes it easy for them to do so.  There is certainly a need for this type of technology (note to any of you start ups out there).

One study I read recently noted that consumers spend an average of 25% more when direct mail is used together with email marketing. Getting in front of prospects can move the soon-to-be-customers through the sales pipeline faster. It’s really that simple.

These are some other tips for combining email + direct mail:

1) Use direct mail for non-responders:

When using email, no matter how witty your email subject lines are, or how great the CTA is, there will always be non-responders. This is the group that is a prime target for direct mail pieces. Something personalized and tactical can often cut through the digital noise that may be preventing that prospect from opening your email.

2) Do the reverse for prospects:

As I mentioned above, direct mail is much more effective for prospecting.  Using automation, you can reach out with a post card, mailer, or catalog first, then follow up with an email. For the best result, provide a personalized URL. Not only is it easy to track who came to your landing page, but it simplifies the process for customers who want to respond to your call-to-action.

3) Drip email campaigns infused with direct mail:

A new shift I’m starting to see is marketers who infuse direct mailings into email drip campaigns –  by way of triggered direct mail. This works using your CRM system or Marketing Automation workflows where software makes it possible to “listen” for triggers. When a trigger is set off, direct mail is then sent individually on a case-by-case basis.  No manual intervention is needed, just like with automated emails.

4) Event Marketing:

Most companies host, attend, or exhibit at industry events where their customers are also likely to be. Using a combined email and direct mail strategy allows you to gain more leads during the show as well as create more web traffic.

Other tips:

When looking over the types of communications that consumers like to receive in their mailbox vs. email, there are definitely preferences: think loyalty rewards, statements, welcome packs, brochures, and catalogs.

In a nutshell, integrating all of your communications will generate more leads, and convert more customers.  Not to sound like a broken record, but ensure you keep your customer data at the heart of it all for relevant, up-to-date outreach.