E-mail is a wonderful way to reach out to customers and prospects and engage them. But e-mail becomes an even more powerful tool when you find ways to integrate it with all your marketing efforts.
The customer is king, and she holds the keys to the kingdom—the power to do business with you, or not. She will communicate with you and order from you through her channel of choice, which may change from moment to moment. She also expects a seamless experience. That means the look and feel of your e-mails, your Web site, your direct mail and your print ads should have some commonality. While you must capitalize on the strengths of each channel, an integrated approach needs to be the strategic underpinning of your marketing plan.
Integrated marketing isn’t easy, but here are some ideas and examples to stimulate your thinking.
n E-mail your house list to reinforce a direct mail campaign. If part of your mailing is to your housefile, it’s a perfect opportunity for a one-two marketing punch. Send an e-mail timed to reach recipients either right before or after an anticipated delivery. Include an image of your mailing piece in the e-mail. We all suffer from e-mail clutter—but there’s also mailbox and desktop inbox clutter. If you provide a visual cue, you increase the odds that your mailing will be eagerly sought out.
You also can increase your effectiveness if there’s something special for e-mail recipients. This can be as simple as a “sneak preview” so recipients feel like they have the inside track.
Does this work? KnowledgeBase’s measurement guru Arthur Middleton Hughes published a case study in which he established test cells for a major mailer. One group received only direct mail. The second group received direct mail plus e-mail. He reported substantial increases in sales, orders and order size for those who received both direct mail and e-mail.