Many marketers are well versed in the use of direct mail and email marketing. Not many know how to combine them effectively.
They’re commonly used as stand-alone direct marketing channels, with teams, technologies and processes that have been built out over the years to support their strengths and limitations.
But, because of their lack of integration around a common set of tools, they’ve rarely been used together to leverage each other’s strengths.
Email marketing is easy. So everyone does it.
Email marketing campaigns can be set up relatively quickly and provide insights into open rates, clicks, opt outs etc. Email campaigns can be automated and are also very scalable.
However, one major disadvantage of email marketing is that noise levels have reached a crescendo! The average business person received 95 emails a day in 2018.
Open rates have dwindled as a result.
Marketers that rely entirely on email run the risk of looking exactly like their competitors.
Traditional direct mail gets results. But it’s hard to execute.
Direct mail, on the other hand, has response rates that average over 3% compared to 0.1% for email (2016 DMA Response Rate Report).
The physical mailbox is much less crowded than the email inbox, giving marketers an opportunity to stand out.
The problem though, has been that traditional direct mail processes involve many manual interfaces.
There’s never been any connection into automation or CRM systems that lie at the heart of today’s marketing tech stack.
Also, traditional direct mail lacks detailed delivery and response data that marketers are now accustomed to from email and other digital channels.
It’s just been too hard to combine direct mail and email marketing from an operational standpoint to warrant heavy investment from marketing teams.
New Tech Combines Direct Mail and Email Marketing For Better Results
While some have framed it as a question of direct mail or email marketing, research has shown that consumers spend an average of 25% more when direct mail is used in combination with email marketing.
Used correctly, direct mail and email can work in tandem to get your message in front of prospects and move opportunities through the pipeline.
By strategically combining direct mail and email marketing, you can maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of both tactics.
Furthermore, the latest direct mail technologies allow marketers to automate their direct mail campaigns making it easier than ever before to use direct mail alongside email marketing.
To help you generate better ROI, we have laid out 5 ways to use direct mail with email marketing.
1.) Use Direct Mail to Connect with Email Non-Responders
Regardless of how unique or witty your email subject line is, there will be non-responders in every email marketing campaign. Sometimes your target customer is so inundated with email that no matter what time of the day, or day of the week you try, you just can’t get your prospect to open your emails.
One tactic we have seen companies use very effectively is to use direct mail to reach out to these non-responders. Postalytics makes it really simple to implement:
- Create a list of non-responders in your email marketing platform
- Build your postcard or letter with the Postalytics drag and drop editor
- Launch a campaign.
Campaigns setup takes a just a few minutes and can be scheduled for delivery far in advance.
Catering company Fresh City deployed this tactic to generate 113% ROI. By getting in front of non-responders with a highly visual postcard, they were able to cut through the noise and really resonate with a whole segment of customers they were losing out on.
2.) Use Direct Mail to Prospect, Follow Up With Email
Email marketing to a purchased list is a tactic that attracts plenty of criticism, and for good reason. It’s against the law in many places, and against the terms of service of many email providers.
But, depending on the needs of your business, it still has its uses. List based acquisition marketing campaigns happen every day for a reason. You might, for instance, be starting a new business and the reality is – you have to start somewhere. Sometimes businesses just need a quick lift and marketing to a purchased list can help achieve a temporary boost in revenue.
With direct mail automation, you can leverage the strength of direct mail marketing and avoid the email list issues. If you use direct mail for your initial outreach, you can direct your prospects to a landing page via pURL and use email for direct follow up. With automated direct mail, you can track which prospects navigate to your landing page, and how many of them reach their conversion goal. You can even target and segment campaign non-responders with follow-up mailings with the click of a button.
3.) Inject Direct Mail Into Automated Drip Email Campaigns
Automated drip email campaigns are nothing new in the world of marketing. Many companies use drip campaigns to onboard new customers, nurture leads, and engage with prospects who complete sign up for website downloads. Combining direct mail and email marketing in automated drip campaigns is a very new, exciting concept that combines the best of both channels.
Drip campaigns come with many advantages. Chief among them is the automation factor. The fact that marketers can launch a drip campaign, sit back, and watch it generate opportunities for their business is a major attraction. In terms of time investment, drip campaigns offer impressive ROI opportunities. Research from SmartTouch shows that open and click rates for drip campaigns are up to 80% higher, than single email sends.
Savvy marketers are now incorporating direct mail postcards and letters into email drip campaigns, by utilizing triggered direct mail. By incorporating direct mail into their automation sequences, these marketers are standing out from their competitors and making a deeper impact on their audiences. They realize that if they run drip email campaigns that look like their competitors, they’ll get lost in the shuffle.
This issue was something that marketing services firm Sigma Marketing Insights encountered. Having launched a really strong piece of content on their site, they set up an automated workflow in HubSpot which scheduled a number of emails to be sent to downloaders. The only problem was it all felt too familiar to senior marketers at the company. To set themselves apart from the competition, they added a direct mail step to their automated campaign. Now, downloaders receive a personal letter from the CEO which links to a personalized URL offering a free data assessment – a key step in the company’s sales process. Through the campaign, the company doubled the number of scheduled data assessments.
4.) Use Email to Follow Up on Delivered Direct Mail
Direct mail automation lets marketers track direct mail deliverability by the US Postal Service. Marketers can now use this insight into deliverability to follow up via email. Research shows that following direct mail with email results in a 25% higher response rate than with direct mail alone. Other benefits to this approach is that you can increase qualified leads and web traffic.
With integration into CRM systems, marketers can send out timely, personalized email that augments the direct mail offer and messaging. Multichannel marketing can now be achieved with a minimum of time and expense.
5.) Event Marketing
Events are still an enormous part of marketing today. Many companies attend several industry events and trade shows each year, representing a large portion of the marketing budget. Combining direct mail and email marketing to invite and follow up on events is a perfect strategy.
Most companies will use some kind of digital techniques to support their on-site efforts. Email marketing is problematic however as many events do not distribute attendee email addresses prior to the event. In this situation, you should leverage direct mail to invite attendees to your company’s booth, suite, or special event. You can then schedule some follow up emails with attendees who accept your invitation to boost engagement. As a final touch, you can send everyone who attended in person a thank you direct mail. Using this cross-channel approach, you can drive event ROI.
This list of 5 new ways to use direct mail and email marketing is just scratching the surface. Postalytics works with marketers to automate direct mail and integrate it with an organization’s digital marketing strategy. To learn more, speak with one of our specialist: