Where Direct Mail Fits in Your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
While many marketers recognize the value of direct mail in this increasingly online world, it can be difficult to figure out where it fits in their omnichannel marketing strategies.
According to performance marketing agency Merkle, marketing campaigns that used direct mail and one or more digital media experienced a 118 percent lift in response rate compared to using direct mail only. The key is to use direct mail as the vehicle that drives the entire omnichannel marketing experience.
Direct mail serves as the launching point of an omnichannel campaign by initiating the original web traffic that triggers all of the other digital events.
When a customer holds a piece of your mail in their hands, it creates strong impressions on the brain, establishing an anchor for your brand experience.
If your campaign has been optimized to dynamically hit the right people at the right time with the right messages (using the right data and personalization ingredients), the recipient will respond in one of two ways:
- Make a purchase/act on the offer.
- Put the piece aside until they're ready to act on it when most convenient for them.
If they make a purchase or act on the offer right away, great! The next step in your omnichannel marketing strategy should be designed around encouraging further action — e.g., product reviews/testimonials, referrals, repeat purchases, etc.
You can do this by sending them direct mail or email messages that add value to their experience, making it easy for them to take further action. Consider the following tactics:
- If you're looking for them to give you a product review, send them a link to your review section.
- If you're looking for a referral, consider giving them a personalized URL (PURL) that you can track and reward the number of referrals with.
- If you're looking for them to repeat their purchase, think about the frequency at which this type of product/service is typically purchased and send them timely reminders when it's time they would normally need to order again.
You can also add value to their experience by recommending products and/or services that complement the ones they've already purchased.
If they choose to put the piece aside and take action later, the next step in your omnichannel marketing strategy should be designed around retargeting them with messages until they're ready to make a purchase.
Hopefully, even if they didn’t make a purchase, they at least visited your website to learn more about or view your products. In this scenario, consider the following tactics:
- If you sell any of your products online, you can track if they place items in their cart and then compare it to whether they made a purchase. You can then send direct mail or email messages that encourage them to come back and finish their transaction.
- If you have digital retargeting cookie codes set up on your website, you can also target them with images of the products they left in their cart, again to encourage them to come back and make a purchase.
Worst-case scenario: Even if they throw that piece of direct mail away, they're bound to remember something from the mail piece, even if it’s just a word or phrase from your tagline. The next step in your omnichannel marketing strategy should be to send them additional messages using other mediums that may capture their interest in other ways. Furthermore, give them additional ways to make a purchase/act on your offer. Again, they're bound to remember something from the mail piece, so the additional exposure reinforces the information they retained.
The Key Takeaway
Direct mail fits best in the omnichannel marketing strategy as the vehicle that drives the rest of the brand experience. It should be used as the launching point of an omnichannel campaign to capture the recipient’s attention, initiating original web traffic that triggers all of the other digital events.
Allison Jensen is a marketing coordinator at Compu-Mail, a direct marketing and communication services provider.
Related story: The Importance of an Integrated Marketing Strategy