Often viewed as a separate marketing channel, leveraging e-mail to support direct mail campaigns is an under-used marketing tool. But by integrating the two channels, marketers can harness the benefits of expedient, low-cost e-mail tactics to boost direct mail ROI. Larry Mueller, vice president of marketing at Morris Plains, N.J.-based Weichert Realtors, says sending an e-mail campaign before a direct mail drop can help increase recognition when the audience receives your mailing. This recognition can result in the recipient placing a higher value on the mailing and, as a result, boost response. Here, Mueller discusses creative, channel coordination and other integration tactics.
Target Marketing: Why do you feel integrated direct mail/e-mail campaigns are important?
Larry Mueller: As we all know, e-mail can be tremendously cost-effective. It also compliments other marketing efforts very well. We use integrated e-mail campaigns most often for lead incubation to keep our company top-of-mind with customers we are already working with at Weichert. E-mail also offers the opportunity to reach a specific audience, frequent e-mail users, who are often online shoppers. These folks may be more likely to react to your offer when delivered this way versus traditional direct mail, especially if your desired response mechanism is Internet-based. E-mail catches their interest while they are at their computer and can easily and conveniently respond to your offer. E-mail campaigns are also tremendously valuable as a quick way to test price points.
TM: How often do you use e-mail alongside direct mail efforts, as compared to stand-alone campaigns?
LM: It varies. In real estate, [integration] offers us the flexibility we need. From a stand-alone perspective, it provides a quick way to communicate changes in our home-listing inventory on a small scale to a very targeted audience of existing leads. We can also use it in conjunction to support large-scale efforts for customer acquisition.