It is undeniable that technology has changed the direct marketing industry. However, instead of competing against each other, direct mail and email should work in tandem. With the prevalence of brand's digital footprint in the new era of marketing, direct mail has been enhanced by Web technologies in many ways—whether it be getting leads to visit a webpage, encouraging customers to buy online or collecting information from prospects—it's essential now more than ever for SMBs to find a balance between digital and traditional marketing efforts.
While email may be cheaper at face value, direct mail provides a greater return on investment for marketers. Not only do 57 percent of direct mail recipients feel more valued, 92 percent engaged online after receipt, compared with a 3.13 percent average engagement for email. The benefit of investing in direct mail and a sound marketing strategy can't be overstated.
But how do you do it? What are the best practices to bridge the gap between analog and digital? The fine art form can vary greatly based on vertical, goal and budget, but here are a few tips for marketers to execute a seamless strategy:
- Create a Link Between Digital and Physical Mail—add a QR Code that directs the customer to special webpage, social profile or video. Include embedded links that will track and measure engagement.
- Offer Exclusive Benefits—between an exclusive discount code, access to a new website and a chance to enter a new contest, unique opportunities for direct mail consumers will show ROI and increased brand engagement.
- Make It Personal—provide added value in promotions by offering the customer what he or she needs. Determine what your customers may be in the market for by tracking purchases, cookie marketing or even by time of year. [Editor's note: While cookies still exist on desktops, mobile sites will require different forms of tracking.]