Adaptation is the most essential feature of human evolution. In every aspect of life, adjusting ourselves to changing times is a template for growth and development and field of marketing is no different. Integration of direct mail marketing with digital and online means of communication and marketing is the part of the process to have successful adaption of direct mail marketing in modern times.
All of us are part of the generation who has witnessed the extraordinary prevalence of technology and internet in daily lives. This drastic change has also altered the consumer’s behavior and predisposition, highlighting the need to overhaul old marketing means with contemporary features.
CLEARING THE AIR: DIRECT MAIL IS STILL A VIABLE MARKETING OPTION
With unparalleled dominance of social media, the field of marketing has also undergone a significant revamp. Social media is crucial to every digital marketing strategy. It is a phenomena that has taken its shape in the last 10 years.
On the other hand, direct mail marketing is as old as postal service and there is a difference of roughly one hundred years between this and digital marketing.
Due to this multi-generational gap between the two marketing approaches, a perception (a false one!) have inculcated that direct mail is not a viable option in modern times. Disinterest of Millennial or young people in offline activities is the lazy reason given without looking into the facts. When the truth of the matter is around 80% of millennials read printed books and literature.
Statistics are a helpful tool in getting the true and impartial picture about the inclinations of new generation. Here, we will mention some stats to clear the misconception that direct mails are an outmoded marketing option:
- More than 80% millennials regularly check their postal mails.
- A survey has found out that the majority of young population thinks postal mails are a better source of information and promotions than emails.
- Another survey indicates nearly all of the individuals aged between 25 and 34 are of the thought that copies of direct mail are trustworthy.
You can read more about the perception and reality of the direct mail marketing among millennials here. So, it is quite clear there is no such thing as ‘indifferent youth to the old ways’ and that is why direct mail marketing is still an effective way to promote your business.
WAYS OF DIRECT-DIGITAL INTEGRATION
Undoubtedly, digital media has become one of the major influencers in today’s world. Trends, whether financial or fashion, get incepted there. Thus, having a holistic approach of marketing which includes electronic, print and digital domains is the way forward in recent times.
Let’s delve into the details of as how direct mail marketing can be integrated and infused with contemporary ways of communication and how old and new ways of marketing and communication can assist each other to get better results.
EMAIL FOLLOW UPS
Electronic mails and direct mails are considered rivals by many. However, combining them both can result into an improved lead generation. Oftentimes, due to the eventful everyday routine, people even forget to act on the direct mails they are interested in. For instances like these, using email follow ups can be a good idea to remind people about the promotion, product or services you have offered in the direct mail.
Email follow ups can also bring about a direct lead conversion if your business also possesses an eCommerce façade, i.e., if customers are interested in the offered promotions then they might directly order it online through the link provided in the email. This two-pronged marketing strategy can easily be implemented with the help of targeted mailing lists and email lists brought from an experienced mailing list broker.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND DIRECT MAIL
Combining social media and direct mail can deliver amazing results. For instance, mentioning the addresses of social media accounts in your direct mail’s call-to-action will help you increase the traffic and following on your social media accounts.
Conversely, social media platforms can also help in reaching the new customers and retaining the older ones. Setting up an online competition on social media and delivering gift props enclosed with direct mails is a subtle yet effective way of successful marketing.
Social media also helps in engaging customers and having their interest remain concentrated on your business with appealing content. There are few examples of successful integration of social media and direct mail that we will discuss in the later section.
To speed up the process of linking your direct mail recipients to your online presence, incorporate QR codes in your mails. According to the statistics, nearly 70 percent of the US population use smartphones and you can provide them an easy option to reach you through their handheld devices.
If you are carrying out direct mail marketing with the help of targeted mailing lists, then you can personalize the whole direct mail-to-landing page transition. It is a well-established fact that personalized ways to reach your target audience experience more success.
CUSTOMIZING THE QR CODES
You can have the QR customized with an image or text identified with your brand and business. Not only will it make your mail more attractive, it will also help you to create the impression that your business means business.
You can have your landing page personalized with each recipient of your targeted mail marketing so that each potential customer reach the page through QR code dedicated for him or her. Personalized URLs embedded in QR codes will definitely help you in having an improved response rate.
Personalized URLs can also help in tracking the real-time response because URL dashboard will notify you whenever a certain targeted individual will land on your page. This approach might also help in establishing a database of more valued customers.
When using QR codes in your direct mail, make sure that the associated landing page has user friendly design and must be responsive to mobile devices (smartphone and tablets).
USING THE DIRECT-DIGITAL NEXUS FOR EFFECTIVE REMARKETING
With more sophistication involved, you can use the combo of direct mail and digital communication for successful remarketing. If you have designed a specific landing page for your direct mail marketing campaign, then you can collect the data of people visited the page with the help of tracking applications. This data will help you in the future to present your offers to only those individuals who have shown interest by visiting the landing page.
This intelligent way of re marketing will surely help you in converting interested recipients into customers.
All the above-mentioned tactics are the manifestation of the fact that using direct mail marketing with modern tools of communication will only result into better outcomes of promotional campaigns. In the next section, we will discuss two actual cases where combination of social media and direct mail helped businesses to have more streamlined marketing campaign.
SUCCESSFUL CASES OF DIRECT-DIGITAL INTEGRATION
DIRECT-DIGITAL INTEGRATION FOR INCREASED TRAFFIC AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF CONSUMER DATABASE
Chick-fil-A is an American fast food chain who recently combined direct mail marketing with digital media to have a successful marketing campaign. There were two distinctive objectives of this integrated marketing campaign.
- Setting up a customer database
- Increasing in-store traffic
Direct mail marketing campaign of the store targeted around 5000 households with their appealing postal cards having personalized URLs. Customers were asked to register themselves on personalized landing pages in order to avail free meals (this allowed for the development of a database). Postal cards are only redeemable for takeaways (which increases in-store traffic). The direct mail marketing is integrated with viral social sharing. The results of this integrated marketing approach were very telling.
The direct mail marketing alone garnered a healthy response rate of 22 percent with more than 1100 recipients activated their personalized URLs. Social sharing of the offer also helped in conveying their promotional message all along. More than 1200 Facebook users shared the offer in their newsfeed and more than 100 twitter accounts retweeted it.
All this activity greatly helped Chick-fil-A to know about the demographics of the people shown interest in their marketing campaign. This type of information proves to be very useful for devising future promotional campaigns.
DIRECT-DIGITAL INTEGRATION FOR CREATING NEW CONSUMER BASE WITH THE HELP OF OLDER ONE
Stein Mart is a men and women’s department store who wanted to have increased redemptions through a referral activity. The purpose of this campaign was to get new customers into net with the help of existing consumer base.
Extensive direct mail marketing with the integration of social media was carried for the purpose. More than 20,000 direct mails with personalized URLs were sent to the current customer database. Recipients had the option to share this redeeming offer with their acquaintances through different digital means. In doing so, they would automatically become the part of a lucky draw to win shopping coupon of worth $1000.
With more than 1500 users accessed and logged on their personalized URLs and shared the offer with their friends and family, the response rate of 7.8 was satisfactory. However, the integration of social media turned out to be a successful bet. More than 3000 users came to the store’s promotional landing page through Facebook and Twitter posts shared by the initial recipients of the mail.
Both of these real-life cases of integrated marketing indicate that how businesses can make the most of their direct mail marketing with the help of digital mediums.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT WHEN INTEGRATING DIRECT AND DIGITAL
All this extensive discussion has undoubtedly made the case for integrating direct mail marketing with digital communications. However, one must take some important things into account before going with this multipronged marketing strategy.
USE AUTHENTIC AND RELIABLE DATA
Direct-digital integration will only culminate into a successful marketing campaign if the targeted mailing lists used for the purpose are recently updated and perfectly suits the type of market your business serve. Experienced mailing list brokers are of great help in getting the relevant data to initiate the process.
CATER WITH CONTENT OF HIGH-VALUE
Integration of digital mail with digital media will only transform into a profitable affair if you are providing the recipients with content of high value. Here, the high value content entails introducing the interesting offers and discounts in the body of your direct mail.
Bear in mind, the quality of your mail in terms of offers rendered and language is the most important aspect after suitable targeted mailing lists for a successful marketing campaign.
Tracking the transition of consumers from offline (direct mail) domain to the online ones is very necessary to gauge the success of integration. QR codes, campaign-specific landing pages and social media hashtags are some of the ways to set up a seamless tracking mechanism.
In order to make the direct-digital integration a tale of success, don’t bombard the recipients with numerous offers. It has often been witnessed that providing too many options to the prospective customers lead to indecisiveness. Be focused and introduce new offers in your direct mail.
Remember that most of the online users hate hard sell tactics. Therefore, even if you have introduced a great offer in your direct mail, you can’t have a better lead generation if you have adopted the ways of hard selling. If you want to experience successful integration of direct mail with online media, it is important to be as less salesy as possible.
If you have understood the importance of mixing and combining old and new marketing approaches of direct mail marketing and digital media respectively then consult an experienced mailing list broker. Not only will they help you with the finest targeted mailing list available, but they can also assist you with your internet marketing.