We exist both online and offline, and nobody asks us to choose between the two. As marketers, why then stick to one channel? Industry commentator Mark Ritson believes, “We forgot one of the key lessons of media, which is 1 + 1 = 3…we’ve lost the secret formula of synergy.” He encourages marketers to spread their money because they’ll almost certainly see a better result.
Integrating direct mail marketing into digital campaigns has more impact. Compared to a single-media approach, integrated marketing campaigns earn more attention (+ 39 per cent), more emotional engagement (+ 5 per cent) and more brand recall (+ 10 per cent).1
Consumers make brand connections in many ways. Meeting them there with the right message drives action. Show up where and when it’s relevant, connect when someone is ready to hear. Adding mail to the mix can help you broaden your audience and refresh the way you communicate, creating more personalized, tangible experiences with your brand.
Marketers should always be asking, “What’s the best way to combine media to increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns?”
To make sure their mix is reaching its full potential, marketers should always be asking, “What’s the best way to combine media to increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns?”
Customers, donors and prospects all connect with brands on social, websites, newsletters, blogs, billboards, at home and the list goes on. Omni-channel campaigns give marketers more meaningful opportunities for messages to hit targets.
Ritson adds, “If I see you everywhere, I take notice. Being present at every touchpoint builds brand recognition and awareness, cultivates loyalty and shows what you stand for.”
So, what are the top tips and takeaways for creating an integrated experience that includes direct mail marketing?
Direct mail marketing can amp up digital campaigns in multiple ways
In a digital-driven landscape, physical messages stand out and spark interest. Consider this: Canada Post research shows that of recently-made millennial purchases, 31 per cent were driven by print or direct mail promotions:2
- Mail + online advertising: Direct mail can encourage certain online behaviours. For example, you can send a postcard with a reminder that a customer left items in an abandoned cart – and offer an incentive to buy to further drive that conversion.
- Mail + social: Direct mail marketing sparks engagement on social. Plus, use your direct mail lists to find look-alike, digital audiences on Facebook and other social platforms.
- Mail + email: Use physical mail to re-engage lapsed customers or remind them about an unopened email. Include a unique promo code to track success.
- Mail + Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Send direct mail with exclusive, online offers. Include in-store coupons on SEM ads.
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Channel sequencing can impact marketing success
There’s no one-size-fits-all formula to determine the order of your media mix. However, research suggests that the impact of direct mail is strongest when it comes after digital advertising. For instance:
- Direct mail after email: In this combination, brand recall (awareness) peaks. It also sustains attention for longer than other integrated marketing campaigns, making it an ideal combination to feature long-form and complex content.
- Direct mail after digital display: This combination is best for connecting with people’s emotions, which helps build loyalty.
- Direct mail after pre-roll: This is a valuable integration for marketers looking to boost conversions. Direct mail marketing builds on the time-limited engagement with video, which works to strengthen motivation.
Test, learn, repeat
Whether it’s a dedicated discount code on your direct mail or a MURL, it’s important to include a means to measure how well your campaigns perform. Measuring helps you learn what mix works best and which touchpoints resonate most. It enables you to put the guidelines and industry precedents to the test. The goal is to experiment, learn from experience, repeat and scale up quickly to achieve success.
1 Canada Post. Connecting for Action, 2016.
2 Canada Post, Phase 5, Advertising Communication Preferences and Generational Differences, 2017.
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