Ways Email and Direct Mail Marketing Can Complement One Another
Let’s analyze why and how a combined email and direct mail marketing strategy can help take your marketing campaigns to the next level.
Given today’s technological advancements, marketers should consider combining different channels to get the most out of their efforts. In this case, direct mail takes the cup. To some B2B marketers, email and direct mail marketing are like leaves on different branches, but the truth is that they are two peas in a pod.
Let’s dive into understanding the benefits of email with direct mail and the best practices of using them together.
Why Use Both?
Let’s face it, targeting via a single channel and making it work is tedious and expensive. Where email marketing requires high investments, direct mailing can be an exhaustive and time-intensive process. But, this is not the case when you combine the two. This combination makes the process less costly or time-consuming!
The regional plumbing company, My Georgia Plumber, found that the traditional direct mail process only limited their ability to grow with the time and costs involved. The print company they chose had minimum print restrictions and wouldn’t print only 200 to 300 postcards.
The excess postcards were kept for later use, but with new ideas springing forth, it became time-consuming and ROI-depleting to change the postcards all over again. Moreover, staggered mailings were proving to be a logistics nightmare.
As a result, the company decided to offer automated direct mails that can be scheduled in advance. Depending upon the Q.R. codes, each prospect’s activity could be tracked, and those showing interest were sent follow-up emails and phone calls.
At the end of the month, every customer MGP had worked with would receive a personalized ‘Thank You’ note and discount offers (both as postcards and via email). This reduced operational costs and time wastage.
Tips for Combined Email + Direct Mail Marketing
When it comes to integrated marketing, it seems to be easier said than done. Stretching from a recipient’s inbox to their front door can be daunting, especially if you’re confused about how to go about it. Here are some tried-and-tested tips.
1. Use Direct Mail for the Non-Responders
There is something unique and personal about handwritten letters, and people still love to receive them over virtual texts or calls. Similarly, direct mail makes the experience more personal for the customer.
No matter how witty the subject line or engaging the content, email always attracts some non-responders. They either do not open the mail at all or never click through. Such recipients are prime targets for direct mail.
Personalized direct mail can cut through the digital noise and give you access to prospects that might be reluctant to respond via email.
Consider the example of Sales Engine, a North Carolina-based marketing agency with primary clients from the home-service sector. The company wanted a triggered direct mail plan without investing in a home-bred solution.
They found that they’ve been targeting the wrong customer profiles (via email), as evidenced by the high percentage of non-responders. Instead of investing in legacy methods and shaking hands with large-volume print service providers, the company invested in direct mail automation.
As a result, they used their client’s CRM data to identify when a customer is most likely to be in the market for the product or service. This enabled clients to target customers at high-probability points. Instead of bulk mail, targeted, personalized mailings were sent, followed by sales cadences of telecalls, more direct packages, and email.
When Sales Engine noticed that expensive building lots were being sold, it sent the property owners personalized direct packages, introducing them to the home builders. Leads arrived within days of transaction closure through a 6″ x 11″ time-sensitive postcard.
Each prospect was monitored and followed up by the builder’s sales staff. The success rate was also tracked. The home builder enjoyed a steady conversion rate and supply of referrals through happy homeowners.
2. Infuse Drip Email Campaigns with Direct Mail
Through the famous triggered direct mail, marketers have started infusing their drip email campaigns with direct mail. The CRM or Marketing Automation software allows you to “listen” for triggers.
In case a trigger is alarmed, the respective prospect will receive direct mail to make the experience more personalized. In such cases, no manual intervention is required, just like in the case of automated emails.
The most suitable example here is Buffer Insurance, which specializes in employer benefits for SMEs and supplement coverage for medicare. The company’s main challenge was integrating direct marketing with the Zoho CRM portal.
Direct mail has always been a part of the company’s marketing tactics. However, since they migrated from Salesforce CRM to Zoho CRM, they wanted to automate their direct mailing strategy. But most postal mailing solutions wouldn’t connect with Zoho.
The company developed a two-page letter created to establish a personal relationship with the prospect through personalized direct mail. Calmly and professionally, the letter informed the soon-to-be 65-year-olds of the medicare insurance.
They were also sent birthday postcards, triggered automatically through Zoho CRM. The postcards often include interactive elements, directing recipients to useful online resources such as informative videos and a medicare checklist.
These personalized mails had Q.R. codes that helped the company track particular postcard responses. This helped the company generate valuable referrals.
Top Use Cases for Email + Direct Mail
Employing an integrated marketing approach with direct mail and email is not a new thing, as many brands have successfully combined the two to maximize results. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Zogics Inc. is an e-commerce business that provides a single-stop solution for all gym needs. The company serves over 30,000 gym facilities, training centers, etc., across the U.S. Zogics’ main challenge was finding a cost-effective direct mailing strategy and a robust email provider.
So, the company turned to HubSpot as its email provider and Postalytics as its direct mail automation platform. This integration enabled Zogics to bring postcard mailing into the mix of automated workflows. As a result, engagement per contact could be tracked in real-time.
Postalytics’ status codes like “Processed for Delivery” and “Mail-in Transit” helped the company track their messaging time within the automated workflow, sending out personalized campaigns to specific audiences. Direct mailing achieved, in this case, what blind mailing could not.
One fantastic thing about integrating email automation with personalized direct mailing was that the company saw more orders from at-risk and re-engaged customers who had been dormant for over six months!
Real Living McLemore & Co. Realtors
This company is a Tennessee-based leading real estate brokerage firm. In just a year, the firm doubled in size and revenue. Their backbone was HubSpot’s automated email. However, it was looking to expand by leveraging the power of direct mail since digital channels combined were not producing the desired results.
The challenge was to discard old-school tactics, as customers already heard from the company frequently through email. The company adopted a new approach by integrating automated email with targeted direct mail.
Through pre-triggered emails, mailings were sent to specific audiences at specified intervals. Two kinds of direct mail were delivered on a monthly basis – the brand awareness campaign, which enabled realtors to stay in touch with their clients every month.
The second was an oversized postcard (around 6″ x 9″), which featured discount coupons from local eateries and other businesses. McLemore charged their merchants nothing for these ads. The eye-catching graphics on an oversized postcard and valuable discounts made the postcards stand out.
The postcards encouraged prospects to visit a specific landing page for downloading the coupon code. It also features URLs and Q.R. codes for tracking activity.
This multi-touch, triggered direct mail approach helped the company see consistent growth, and within a month, 20 agents gladly adopted the approach.
On a Final Note
By and large, you can see that there’s strength in unity. Similarly, using either email or direct mail in isolation is not the answer. Since the two channels complement each other well, it is in your business’s best interest to take an integrated approach.
However, there may be some risks or challenges involved, such as strong leadership that can unify different departments, too many creative ideas that hinder the right message from being delivered to the right audience, and a lack of resources.
Do you also face similar challenges? Then, let this be the motivation you need to overcome them today – your combined efforts will only bear greater results! Email + direct mail marketing is worth it; you must try it to experience the benefits. So, give it a shot today!
Written by Michael Ethan
Michel Ethan is the Marketing Manager at Blue Mail Media, a Texas-based business data solution provider. He has over a decade of experience in B2B marketing, communications, and brand marketing, and he excels at developing data-driven marketing plans that never fail to hit the mark. You can reach Ethan at bluemailmedia.com, or he can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.