The Convergence of Email and Direct Mail Marketing

Early in the development of Internet Marketing, email was identified as a powerful, low-cost tool anyone could use to reach millions of people quickly, and it didn’t take long for it to steal much of the limelight (and dollars spent) from other marketing efforts. One of the hardest hit marketing initiatives was direct mail, mainly because marketers incorrectly believed that email was direct mail’s replacement. With the rise of deeper and more informative analytics, marketers now know that email and direct mail marketing initiatives can and should be used in concert.

Here are some ways marketers can use this combination approach for greater success:

Email is a great way of “introducing” a direct mail initiative. By creating an early buzz in your marketing campaign using email’s instant delivery, you can start to build a top-level awareness within your audience. When the complementary direct mail pieces finally arrives in their physical mailboxes, audiences are already aware of the company, product, service, and/or offer making it that much more likely that they will convert.

Marketers can also use email has the follow up to a direct mail piece, timing the delivery in such a way to utilize on the very same awareness as discussed above. You can also use follow up emails to build a more poignant sense of urgency with your audience, by reminding them that offers are for a limited time, or that there is a “limited availability” of your product.

Follow up emails to direct mail campaigns are also a great way of capitalizing on email’s instant gratification with the availability of “purchase links”. The logic being that once your initial direct mail piece has informed your audience of your products or services, the follow-up email gives them access to convenient purchasing outlet (e-commerce cart, web form, etc.)

Personalization within your marketing campaigns is also key to a greater ROI, and adding emails to your direct mail efforts makes that not only possibly, by affordable as well. A new generation of email marketing software makes personalizing emails that much easier, and the same kinds of personalization can be applied to direct mail pieces with the rise of new printing software.

The differences in delivery between email and direct mail make using both in a combined marketing effort very attractive. An email’s design, content, and wording are much more rigidly defined than direct mail’s because of email clients such as Microsoft Outlook and browser-based webmail interfaces such as Yahoo, Google, and Earthlink. Any good marketer worth their salt can easily create emails that get delivered successfully, but direct mail’s openness to design and content make it an exciting additive to email campaigns.

The simple truth is though millions of people are online, they are also offline, and reaching them at both points of the marketing funnel is vital to successful marketing campaigns. Though the principles behind email and direct mail are similar, they each have their own issues when it comes to design, deliverability, and reach. Combining them into a one-two punch style marketing effort helps marketers overcome these issues and capitalize on their strengths, which translates into higher conversion rates and a healthier ROI. After all, two heads are better than one.

For more information about email marketing or direct mail marketing, please visit a Myrtle Beach marketing company.

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