One plus one can equal more than two, noted direct marketing expert Reggie Brady, president of Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions, in the Target Marketing webinar, "The Recession-Busting Dynamic Duo: E-mail and Targeted Direct Mail," which took place April 30. Brady and co-presenter Eric Cosway, EVP/CMO of QuantumDigital, offered proof from catalog marketers Claire Burke, Exposures and QuantumDigital's own marketing efforts, indicating that integrated campaigns can boost response, sales and average order values far beyond the costs incurred to add the extra supporting e-mail campaigns.
To help marketers achieve stellar results to their integrated marketing efforts, Brady and Cosway offered the following best practices:
1. Pre-alerts. Time your e-mail to arrive in the audience's inboxes about two to three days before the anticipated in-home date of your direct mail piece or catalog, says Brady. Use the U.S. Postal Service's delivery tracking to pinpoint this date. Help recipients make the connection by displaying the outer envelope or catalog cover; if you versioned your outers, such as with a men's catalog and a women's catalog, incorporate the different creatives into your imagery.
2. Postmail drop(s). Using the delivery tracking information, you can support a mailing with one or more follow-up e-mails. Brady points out that Brooks Brothers follows a catalog drop with an e-mail effort a couple days later that features the catalog's cover, making sure the Web site homepage carries the same creative. To keep supporting the mail campaign, it sends another e-mail the following week, this time calling attention to the catalog's back cover or any of the well-merchandised inside spreads.
3. Coupons. Consumers are hypersensitive to offers at the present, so coupons are a good graphical way to convey special values. Cosway advises embedding coupons in the body of the e-mail for immediate impact.
4. Support for e-mail. If your plans and budget do not call for a full-blown direct mail package or catalog, consider a postcard, says Brady. Coordinate the offer, graphics and copy to support a current e-mail promotion, reminding recipients to respond. Postcards also can be cost-effective tools to drive inactive postal customers to share their e-mail addresses; be sure to offer an incentive for registering at your site, such as online-only holiday specials.