The famous quote by the philosopher Aristotle goes “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” I’m sure he wasn’t referring to direct mail, email, or digital internet advertising, but this quote certainly applies for these three marketing channels.
As marketing channels become more refined in their delivery and segmentation, so do the ways that customers choose to find and use these channels. Gone are the days that a mass direct mail piece is delivered to a purchased list or an entire geographic area stamped “Dear Homeowner”. Because of improvements like list segmentation and variable data printing, companies can speak directly to a targeted consumer with a personalized message, increasing response rates as much as 50% for some industries. According to the 2014 fast.MAP Marketing-GAP study, 84% of consumers read and open direct mail, and the top reasons they open their direct mail are: it is from a known company/brand (55%), it is personalized (51%) and an interest in the product or service being promoted (44%).
Prefer email? Again, with proper segmentation and personalization, email can be extremely effective. According to the Aberdeen Group, personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.
So what about using the two together? According to the same 2014 GAP study, mail and email are between 10 and 20 times more popular than all other contact routes, including SMS, Social Media, and mobile. In addition, according to Compu-Mail, 51% of consumers prefer companies to use a combination of mail and email when communicating with them. The Harvard Business Review found that, on average, direct mail and email together had better results for businesses than using direct mail or email alone. Businesses increased their order value by more than $3 when using the two mediums combined, while also getting a 25% response rate.
Now let’s get really crazy. Let’s add some digital banner ads into the mix. By identifying the IP address of the recipient of the email, we can then deliver digital banner ads as they visit websites, thus creating another impression, on another channel, and further enhancing the response rate.
So how would this work to tie all three parts together? First, you create a targeted, personalized direct mail piece that has a specific message for an identified persona. Just about the time the mail piece is in the home of this targeted consumer, you deliver a similarly branded personalized email to these same prospects. As these prospects visit websites, they are delivered a digital banner ad from you that reinforces the previous deliverables and gives them an opportunity to click through to the website to convert or contact. And, to further reinforce the message, another email is launched after a few days for another touchpoint. Finally, just before the campaign ends, a final email goes out with the goal of driving prospects to your site that still haven’t converted.
All of these strategies together mean that a personalized message is placed in front of your targeted audience multiple times through multiple channels, in a defined timeframe exponentially increasing the opportunity for this prospect to convert versus this message being delivered just one time through one channel.