Another Tool in a Marketer's Response Kit
Merging Offline Tactics With Online Methods Makes For Better One-to-One Campaigns
By Matt Graham
E-fulfillment, an electronic response to a direct marketing request, can be an important part of a company's overall one-to-one marketing strategy. In the right situation, and to the right customer, it can offer several advantages. The marketer who employs a blend of "e" and traditional, or land-based fulfillment, will likely realize the most potential from their marketing campaigns.
The three biggest advantages of e-fulfillment are:
• Speed—You reach targets quickly.
• Cost effectiveness—In some instances, it's less expensive to reach the customer.
• Control/customization—It provides the capability to adjust your campaign in real time—test, adjust and move forward. When blended with traditional fulfillment, it creates a highly customized campaign.
True one-to-one marketing—when content is completely personalized, including the cover letter/note, types of attachments and the content of each attachment—is expensive and time-consuming using land-based methods. But not all situations call for a solely e-based fulfillment system. Careful consideration of the type of target being reached and the company's marketing objective, will determine the appropriate combination of e-based and land-based fulfillment components to utilize.
For example, if a credit card company's database identifies a person with outstanding credit and a high income, that person might get a customized e-mail that includes an offer to upgrade his/her card and links to the Web sites of exotic vacation destinations. Someone else with a good credit history that tends to carry an outstanding balance on credit cards might get an offer for a balance transfer to a new card company.
Flexibility: Getting It Right, Right Now
Flexibility is an important benefit of a fully integrated e-fulfillment system. Such a system makes it easy to evaluate a campaign's roll out in real time—watch the pick-up on the first cell, tweak the campaign, watch the second cell go out, make another adjustment, and so forth.