As the media landscape continues to shift, it is increasingly vital for marketers to adapt their brands' marketing mix and strategies accordingly. With an ever-growing number of platforms and mediums used to circulate information, savvy brands must evolve or suffer.
All too often, though, more and more marketing dollars are being reallocated to new trends. From social media to email marketing to native marketing, these new opportunities are soaking up more than their fair share. And that's a problem: Dedicating enormous budgets to these emerging media trends not only truncates marketing in other mediums, but limits brands' engagement and reach to consumers.
Instead, the best-laid marketing plans should be dispersed across mediums, concentrating spending by return on investment and consumer engagement.
Why, then, do so many marketers count out direct mail, one of the longest-reigning direct-marketing platforms available, with a higher capability than email for customization and ROI?
Direct mail is in fact the golden child of the print media family. With its unrivaled track record for success and brand loyalty, direct mail -- meaning circulars and print coupons distributed via mail -- continues to outpace its digital counterparts, even as those services multiply. Compared to email, direct mail actually elicits a higher response rate and engagement with consumers. Consider: email's 0.12 percent response rate vs. direct mail’s 3.4 percent rate.
So, consider using direct mail as part of your integrated marketing campaigns. Here are some quick tips to help your team re-evaluate its integration (or reintegration) into your brand’s increasingly digital marketing strategy.
1. Get on the same page.
For an authentic campaign, the entire team should be on the same page. With so many moving parts, from public relations to advertising, to content and social media, make sure all the cooks in your brand’s kitchen are reading the same cookbook. To make that happen, unite the various team members on a regular basis. Team retreats, meetings or conference calls are effective at keeping everyone in the loop on new happenings, accomplishments and challenges.
2. Personalize the message.
Great marketing is as much about creating relationships as it is conveying a message. Rather than using tired mail merge and template emails, employ data-rich information to make marketing messages more personal and make them stand out from the clutter. As with email, direct mail provides the opportunity to deliver highly-customized and unique messages to consumers. Dividing them by geographic region and keeping track of purchase patterns in order to anticipate needs will help you meet customers’ specific wants and needs. Applying this strategy to your already-engaging direct mail medium will yield an impressive ROI.
3. Offer exclusive benefits.
Among the top reasons consumers cite for subscribing to mailing lists, social media channels and newsletters for their favorite brands is their desire to keep apprised of hot new sales, deals and news, as well as receive exclusive coupons. Anticipating special offers will keep consumers on the lookout for your mail!
4. Digitize your print efforts.
There is nothing quite like teaching an old dog new tricks. Creating a digital tie-in with print mediums greatly improves the sometimes-limiting medium. Though the possibilities are endless for incorporating digital elements into printed materials, here are a few quick examples:
- Use a QR code to direct customers to a landing page, social campaign or video.
- Embed traceable links that will allow your team to capture rich user information, like location, demographics, referrals and conversions, all of which will inform future campaign strategy and expectations and help measure ROI, as well as provide a data-rich understanding for how your consumers are engaging with your brand across channels.
While these tips only scratch the surface for building a fully integrated marketing campaign, they may serve as a catalyst for your next brainstorming session, and inspire the creative minds in your organization who develop your brand’s unique strategies.