As an online vendor, email is one of your most powerful marketing tools. It’s low-cost, low-maintenance and easily tracked. Plus, it produces the quickest sales. Nevertheless, it’s never good to put all your eggs in one basket- especially if you operate a physical storefront. Direct mail still has its place; targeted, eye-catching letters and postcards can set you apart from your competition. You can get the best of both worlds by combining your email and direct marketing initiatives.
Here are a few best practices for incorporating your email and direct mail into cohesive multi-channel marketing campaigns:
Work on Your Web Presence
The web is likely the first place people will find you, even if your physical stores get heavy foot traffic. Now that search engines and mobile apps are the preferred way to find products, it’s important for you to stand out online. Improve your search rankings with frequent, high-quality content updates that appeal to your prospects. If you focus on educating as much as you do on selling, you’ll win loyal, long-term customers, both online and off.
Whether you collect your customers’ information online, in-store or both, you need to follow up with personalized messages and targeted educational content. This is where multiple channels really come in handy. Use direct mail to advertise local in-store offers, then send emails promoting your online sales. To create targeted follow-up messages and attract repeat business, use real-time data enhancement to collect as much customer information as possible.
Diversify, Don’t Duplicate
You need to present a consistent picture of who you are and what you’re offering, but customers don’t want to be bombarded with duplicate ads. If you’re promoting a single offer via multiple channels, use different copy, images and videos to keep things fresh while still maintaining a consistent look for your brand.
Segment and Target
Different people respond to different offers, so you’ll see better sales with segmented ads. Use a variety of emails and letters for people of varying ages, occupations and income levels. Also remember to pay attention to the success rates for email and direct mail among different demographics. You may find some customers prefer email promotions, while others only read your paper mailings. Plus, you’ll avoid unnecessary printing costs by being selective with direct mail.
Make the Most of Mobile
If you’re not creating mobile apps and mobile-friendly web pages, you’re missing out on a big chunk of business. Promote your mobile features through every channel, and take advantage of QR codes on your physical mail. By incorporating mobile-only deals into both marketing channels, you’ll have customers eagerly awaiting the next delivery and your marketing will look incredibly cohesive.
Get Your Timing Right
Email may produce faster results, but it has a short shelf life. On the other hand, a paper mailing might lie around for a few days before getting tossed, enticing more customers to visit your website or store. Create a steady stream of content by beginning with paper, then sending two to three follow-up emails afterward. Spread things out so you’re not contacting your customers more than once every week or two because any more will seem like spam.
Comprehensive Data Collection
You can’t combine email with direct mail if you haven’t collected both sets of addresses. Older businesses often have plenty of postal contacts and few email accounts, but newer companies often face the opposite problem. Fortunately, email append services give you just the data you need. The right service can use email accounts, addresses, zip codes, phone numbers and a variety of other metrics to round out your contact lists.
Interested in seeing if email append could work for you? Try our free match test to find out. Click here to get started.
Photo Credit: LollyKnit