Combining Direct Mail Advertising & Multichannel Marketing
By Paul Bobnak | July 16, 2021
Direct mail advertising has worked for decades in helping marketers reach and acquire new customers. As a print channel, it provides unique strengths that other media can’t match. For example, mail:
- Has a higher response rate
- Attracts and engages recipients by appealing to senses (sight, sound, touch, smell)
- Provides a longer and deeper message recall
When integrated with multichannel marketing, direct mail is an even more powerful tool in creating and deepening customer relationships.
What is Multichannel Marketing?
Multichannel marketing is the distribution of marketing messages across several media channels. In one sense, it’s a strategy that some marketers often used – even in the past – to roll out a campaign.
Traditional, offline tactics include:
- Direct mail
- Broadcast TV & Radio
- Face-to-face events or meetings
In our digital age, the addition of so many online channels to the marketing mix gives smart marketers new ways to reach consumers, such as:
- Social media
- Popup ads
Having these customer outreach tools now at your disposal is a real game-changer because they expand opportunities for engagement.
Despite the pessimistic projections of some experts, marketing campaigns today are not about making a choice between traditional vs. digital marketing. No one channel is entirely displacing another.
Actually, many channels are converging in ways that help you gain value based on customer demand and preferences. Rather than buy into an either-or narrative, you can re-energize your direct mail advertising campaigns by using multichannel marketing strategies.
Combining Traditional & Digital Marketing Tactics
If you’re a direct marketer, chances are extremely strong that you already have a presence – maybe a strong one – in the digital space. Some of the cost advantages and efficiencies involved make it a necessity today, not a luxury or an item for your CMO’s to-do list.
At the same time, though, direct mail is a relevant and viable channel for your marketing campaigns. And it doesn’t have to stay in a silo. When you integrate direct mail advertising with your online efforts, you can:
- Generate more leads by creating more online and offline touchpoints
- Build or reinforce your branding with direct mail pieces that provide staying power as well as pass-along value
- Reach targeted audiences with personalized copy, images, and offers, thanks to VDP
- Achieve higher response rates than sending out email blasts alone
- Engage customers at a deeper level because print activates parts of the brain better than digital channels
To strengthen your direct mail advertising, you’ll have to figure out how to integrate mail with your multichannel marketing.
5 Best Ways to Include Direct Mail in Multichannel Marketing
When you combine direct mail with multichannel marketing, you increase the opportunities for your campaigns to succeed. Today’s generations expect that brands will engage with them offline as well as online – wherever and whenever it is convenient for them. Generation Z and millennials really like getting mail, maybe because they are digital natives.
Multichannel marketing puts the customer in the driver’s seat. Once a campaign is planned, synchronized, and executed, your prospect’s actions (or inactions) will determine what happens next. Depending on your goals and budget, you’ll need to think hard about the channels you offer to your customers to expand the campaign’s reach and scope.
Here are a few ways to reach target audiences with multichannel marketing.
1. QR Codes
QR codes in direct mail have made a small comeback in the past few years. With a simple tap on their smartphone’s screen, customers respond instantly to an offer on your direct mail package.
But let’s face it – not everyone knows what they’re about. So include a helpful instruction (e.g., “Scan here for exact directions to our dental office”). Also, put it in a prominent, can’t miss area of the mail piece to increase the chance that they’ll take your offer.
2. Loyalty Program
Loyalty to a brand or company has to be earned constantly in a highly competitive marketing environment in nearly every industry category. According to a recent 9th annual Bond study, The Loyalty Report, 73% of consumers cited customer experience factors as the biggest drivers of their engagement with a brand loyalty program. However, only 25% felt that they were getting messaging through the right channels from their program.
By better using the data they collect on members, a loyalty program can mail offers for other services and products, upgrades, or redemptions of points earned based on segmentation factors. Even a simple personalized direct mail piece such as a postcard or folded self-mailer will attract attention and prompt response on any channel – that is, if it is relevant.
3. Social Media Tags
Social media offers a consistent, seamless way for brands to engage with the public. Putting icons for your social media sites on your mail is simple enough.
But there’s an additional step toward credibility that you can take. Look for ways to include reviews and testimonials about your company from those online platforms – ones undoubtedly used by your customers – on your mail piece. This can be an especially powerful tactic for small and local businesses with an active two-way social presence.
4. Abandoned Cart
When online buyers place items in their shopping bag or cart but then leave the site without making a purchase, it’s a problem. Some studies place cart abandonment as high as 77%. That makes it a big problem.
But cart abandonment is also an event that can trigger the sending of a retargeted direct mail piece. This process starts with the information on file for that customer (if they’ve logged in), or matching their IP address to a physical address. Add to that the items sitting in the basket, pricing (and maybe a discount). Then, print and mail the piece quickly – and get the sale.
With the right data and strategy, email and direct mail do work together to support messaging and build response.
Some ideas to try include:
- Send direct mail to email non-responders
- Prospect with direct mail for email that goes to a landing page
- Use direct mail as a step in a drip campaign
- Sync up your direct mail and email campaigns through Informed Delivery
Wrapping it up
Multichannel marketing that includes direct mail advertising and one or more digital channels will prevail as the most powerful driver of high ROI campaigns. To improve your chances of success, though, keep in mind a few tips:
- Make sure your messaging, style, look, and offers are consistent among channels – if it’s appropriate for your audience and their needs
- Look for ways to respond to customer pain points with a specific channel
- Take your time connecting other channels with your marketing as your understanding of them grows
- Turn off the constant hard sell by mixing in helpful content (e.g., product hacks) or exclusives (e.g., insider in-store or online events) with your promotions
Here at mailing.com, we’re using the latest technology to power the direct mail we manage for our partners. Contact our team to find out how we can incorporate multichannel marketing into your mail piece’s design – we’d love to hear from you!