Determining the right balance between digital and direct marketing can be a challenge for a lot of organizations. Issues can arise, when one form is seen as superior to the other, and half of the mix gets neglected. Businesses are now engaged in a very digital world – digital has become very comfortable. It’s easy to predict which form marketers might wish to push aside.
Still, for those in the know, the facts are hard to ignore. Direct mail marketing is much more powerful than many business owners realize. Seventy-three percent (73%) of consumers prefer receiving information from brands via direct mail because they can read it at their leisure. Despite being delivered right to the front door; consumers find this less intrusive than online pop-up ads or social media interruptions. The best part… on average, direct mail advertising is kept in the home for 17 days. The impression really lasts… stalking and retargeting are definitely not required for success.
So, what’s the best way to integrate both digital marketing and direct mail? Here are some simple yet powerful moves.
Allow Digital Response
When a direct mail campaign is received, customers need to know which digital forms of contact they can use to respond. Not everyone wants to make a phone call or go directly to a website first. Including a web address is, of course, a crucial piece of information today. Organizations that deal with a lot queries through WhatsApp or Facebook Chat might find this is the preferred form of response for mail campaigns as well. Direct mail links well with this form of social media when it is clear and easy to connect the in-home online piece with the online platform. We need to make sure that we align the visual content between platforms so the consumer can clearly see the connection.
QR Codes Bridge Gap
A QR code is a 3D barcode that can be printed and displayed online or offline. Anyone with a smartphone can use their camera to scan it, and they will be redirected to an online destination in their browser. Consumers appreciate the simplicity and instant access to information. In fact, QR codes represent one of the leading forms of payment in places like Asia.
A QR code can offer any business more cohesion when connecting offline and online worlds (promotions). Information can be stored in a QR code; to quickly link a person to pages on a website, to showcase discounts and offers, display menus, highlight products, or download apps. They appear technical and can seem intimidating to implement at first. However, there are many applications on the web that will generate them fast and free.
There is often an element of mystery or intrigue offered with a QR code. The recipient may not know where they will land until they scan the code. It could be a secret discount code for the first 100 people who claim it, or a special landing page only for the recipients of that mail piece. It can be a perfect opportunity to be creative and fun, or simply a method to relay important information quickly. Whatever the end goal is (online), it’s quite possible a QR code could help.
Digital and direct mail marketing should not be treated as separate – they are two specific tools that belong in every marketing toolbox. Both tools need to communicate a cohesive and consistent message to clients both online and offline. To illustrate, it would normally be frowned upon to use one style of branding in an Instagram ad and a different branding entirely for the same campaign on YouTube. The same principle applies to direct mail marketing. It should be treated as a combined element of the overall branding; this will build consumer trust and reinforce brand messaging.
Digital Funnel Capture
When leads are captured, such as email addresses over the phone, or directly in-person in a physical store, they should be added to a digital marketing funnel. These leads can be nurtured over time with periodic messages and offers – leads have a cost, and we don’t want to lose them. Offline leads that are not converted, can slip through the cracks. It can involve more effort to manually capture the entry, but it can be well worth it over time. Even for those brands that have high quantities of digital lead generation, offline leads can often convert better, if they have been given in-person or over the telephone.
There will always be occasions where digital outperforms direct mail – and the reverse can also true. It is important to pick the right tool for the job and to use both to complement each other. This usually leads to much stronger results overall. Personalizing communication to align with each customer’s needs is the ultimate way to balance effectively and produce stronger results.
Zairmail (www.zairmail.com) is the fastest and easiest way to send (real) postal mail. Give us a call anytime at 888.898.0066, we would be happy to help with your direct mail needs.