Friday, October 5, 2012

Mixing and matching Email with Direct Mail is a Recipe for Success!

By Keith Klamer

Not long ago, marketers used to argue constantly over the strengths and weaknesses of email and traditional direct mail. Now, a truce has been declared: both media are powerful when couple with each other in a single campaign. The ability to apply these tools is now wide-spread, but not as frequently employed as they should. You should keep in mind these five elements that form the backbone of your campaign: Brand, timing, lists, Calls-To-Action and assessment.

1. Branding

This is the heart of the campaign: the branding message. Your e-mail should contain the same slogans, logos and other identifying marks used in the print piece,and both channels must reference the other. For example, the email subject line should repeat the envelope headline or a prominent head in the postal piece. Keep the subject line REAL short-30 to 40 characters-and make it extremely benefit-driven. The "from" line should exactly match the name used on the printed piece. The channels have different strengths but the message should be the same in both. Create custom landing pages that are identical to your print offer. Feature the url in every piece and link to it from your e-mails.

2. Timing and Frequency

Entire books have been written about when to send email -- what day of week and time of day. While the answers are not clear, the statistics are compelling for the timing of a coordinated email/DM campaign: direct mail should come first, the email about a week later. The snail-mail goes first because it tends to hang around longer than email, which is usually either read, trashed or pushed out of sight in two or three days.

3. The List

The task of compiling a mailing list is obviously more complex in a multi-channel campaign where you need a list with both types of addresses. Here are some additional tips for those new to e-mail: Always personalize the salutation. This infers that you have an existing relationship with the recipient. Avoid using too many images and "busy" graphics. And keep the size of your entire html under 60 kb.

4. CTA

Make sure your calls-to-action are prominent in your campaign. In e-mail messages, use both text and image-based CTA links to ensure they can be viewed regardless of image blockers. The location of your CTA should be in the top third of your e-mail so it can be viewed in most preview panes.

5. Post-mailing analysis

Some marketers insist on quantifying success by judging results from each channel, but that's wrong-headed. The results should be viewed together as either successful or not. For example, the prospect may respond to an e-mail for convenience sake, but it is entirely possible the postal piece closed the sale. Or the customer may phone in an order after reading both a direct mail piece and/or an e-mail.

Both media must work in coordination for an effective campaign and results should be assessed that way too.

About the Author:

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1 comment:

Annie Monie said...

Most of us are not very interested in reading about a slow growth direct mail strategy. But it may be the best approach. Growing with direct mail requires a resolute commitment to do what so many of us avoid - testing. The ability to test, analyze, and correct is why direct mail is the most used form of marketing.

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