4 Direct Marketing Tips for Using the Latest Multichannel Tools
Marketers have to work harder today to connect with customers, according to Darrin Wilen, president of Wilen Media, during the InterACT! Conference. They're dealing with a fragmented audience, tighter budgets and measurement is mandatory or those budgets will become even smaller.
The solution, according to Wilen and co-presenter Mark Wollney, executive vice president of Aspen Marketing, is multichannel marketing. In their session, "Building a Multichannel Marketing Campaign from Concept to Implementation," the pair spoke about the finer points of using several new tools to help your direct marketing campaigns reach and convert more consumers.
1. Embrace the Viral Effect of Refer-a-Friend
"[Word of mouth] has really turned out to be your direct marketing engine," said Wollney, comparing prospects' ability to direct their friends to your marketing message/offer with the role that postal mail and e-mail play in non-integrated campaigns.
Wilen similarly urged marketers to make the process easy by including refer-a-friend options in most communications. "When you do this, and it does not cost much more money, what you're doing is making your marketing work for you." Plus, according to Wilen, "you have a much higher measurable response."
2. Use Content to Get Opt-In
Opt-in marketing has become the only acceptable way to market through the Internet, mobile or social channels. Wilen's acquisition e-mails use exclusive content only available after opt-in to get that information and agreement. In a program his company ran for the American All Stars basketball team, the acquisition e-mail included opt-in opportunities (and calls to action) for schedule information, contest entry and to view exclusive video. Marketers should have exclusive info of some sort that prospects will want to view. Wilen says, "Use this additional information to get people to opt-in."
3. Personalize the Content and the Measurement
"Who doesn't like to be called out by name in the right way?" asked Wollney, whose firm has seen significant uplift on e-mails that used the receiver's history to create personalized communications, and most importantly, personalized offers. Personalization is just as important in tracking, and Wilen urged marketers to use personalized URLs in marketing communications to allow individualized tracking of what specific customers do after receiving that message.
4. QR Codes
QR codes are showing up in presentations all over InterACT. The symbols, which allow smartphone users to snap a picture and immediately launch content related to that symbol, offer a great way to take a customer directly from a real-world ad or direct mail piece into interacting with your product and brand. However, Wilen offered the caution that some prospects and segments simply will not engage with QR codes. If you use them, he suggests you also include a backup SMS number.
InterACT! is the first educational forum for marketers, brand owners and service providers on cross-media direct marketing opportunities and strategies organized by InfoTrends and North American Publishing Company (NAPCO) being held Aug 10-11, 2010 in Rosemont, IL.