Direct Mail vs. Email? A Way to Find the Balance
Marketers have often asked whether it is better to use email or direct mail for a marketing campaign. From much research and many case studies, I have found that the answer is not an "either/or" choice. A sound integrated marketing strategy is like an orchestra, with all the different parts coming together at the right moment to create the customer experience. To develop a "Boston Pops" approach to your campaign, I recommend a score based on good data and a communications matrix to understand where your potential customers are in the buying cycle.
Data and modeling are necessary for strategic decision-making. Data does not lie. "Tried-and-true" gut decisions may mislead and misdirect strategic actions and funds. Through data-driven insight, a company can achieve a deeper understanding of a customer's actual value and propensities to purchase. This insight, in turn, drives the strategy and determines the campaign, delivery channels, tactics and offers.
With good data in hand, take the next step in a disciplined, precision marketing approach. Use a communications matrix to chart what channel, message, or offer should go to which segment of your potential customers. A matrix can help avoid over-communicating and redundancy, which can be costly both from a financial and from a customer-relations standpoint. By mapping messages to specific segments, the matrix can help you organize a prescriptive, customer-centric approach across all product lines of your company.
If you are part of a large corporation, over-communicating may be a greater problem than you realize. At a bank in Asia, for example, we found that more than 1,080 requests for names out of the database were requested by ten different product departments within six months. One potential customer received ten product offers in one day!
You can avoid such budget-wasting tactics. Set up a simple communications matrix in four quadrants with two key axes: current revenue and potential revenue. The quadrants identify responders in four categories: low propensity, future potential, high propensity and "best bets."