Direct Mail & Digital Outreach: How They Work Together

In today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected world, it seems everyone is on social media. On the surface, it makes digital marketing appear to be the ultimate medium for marketers. The issue with that assumption is that digital advertising fulfills consumer demand that has already been created by another source.

With traditional forms of media such as direct mail, advertisers can get in front of the consumer well before any interest to purchase has been created. With this approach, you essentially create demand that did not exist before, and as a result, gain access to a new audience.

Direct mail marketing today is more critical to have as part of your marketing mix than ever. The largest digital companies in the world, such as Amazon and Google, rely on direct mail as part of their customer acquisition strategy.

There is a specific place for both types of marketing and for the highest chance of reaching your marketing goals, you must use both in your strategy.

Why Direct Mail?

Consumers are spending more time of their day online than ever before. From video streaming to social media, marketers are always looking for new ways to increase reach and engagement between their brands and consumers.

The constant desire to stay on the cutting edge of trends and move on to the next big thing in marketing often leads to abandoning reliable tactics like direct mail. Direct mail can target and personalize its audience, which provides an incredible return on investment.

Think customers are ignoring direct mail? Think again. A lot of companies are relying on digital marketing as their only engagement tool. Consumers on the receiving end are inundated with clutter. An estimated 1 in 4 people use ad-blocking software. Those that do not are so used to being flooded with digital advertising that they have become ad-blind, learning to ignore content that resembles ads.

Brands can engage with consumers on platforms outside of digital marketing and experience positive ROI. Direct mail still proves to be a robust marketing tool that keeps customers actively involved with a brand’s products and services during a moment where the reader’s mindset is more attentive to your message.

According to a recent case study, 93% of people said they use coupons from the mail in 2018, up from 88% in 2017. Reports by Digital Marketing Analytics have shown that direct mailed coupons continue to remain a viable approach because they have a high average response rate of 5.1%. Though it doesn’t sound like much, this is nearly three times the average response rate of paid search, email, online display, and social media combined.

Direct mail marketing is a wonderful engagement tool. Still, to realize its full potential, it is best used as a supplement to other marketing campaigns, whether it is digital, traditional, or social. Direct mail marketing capabilities can enhance any of your engagement campaigns targeting customers that may have otherwise ignored the marketing strategy.

More than half (57%) of Millennials have made purchases based on direct mail offers, and using the two channels together provide up to a 35% lift compared to a single channel.

Not only this, but data shows people spend more time with physical advertising than digital. People have a stronger emotional response to physical ads and remember them better because they are tactile. The tactile factor also makes it harder to ignore.

How to Use Direct Mail in Your Strategy

Connect with Non-Digital Responders

Regardless of how clever your digital marketing campaigns are, there will be people who ignore or block your messages. Keep a list of the people who are not responding and create a direct mail marketing campaign to target those individuals. You may be surprised at how many of those original non-responders you thought you’d lost respond to the direct mail approach.

Create a Single Hub for Digital and Direct Mail Offers

Look for a solution that provides direct mail and digital marketing services under one roof. A service like this can make it easier to create both digital and direct mail campaigns with cohesiveness to boost your return on investment. Working with us here at Sachs Marketing Group, we can integrate direct mail into your strategy to make everything easier for you to manage.

Combine Personalized Websites with QR Codes

Though QR codes haven’t been able to sustain a marketing campaign by themselves, using personalized URLs with these campaigns allows marketers to gain actionable insights into who their customers are and where they’re engaging with your print materials.

Here’s a suggested campaign to help you get started:

During the first week, send 1 to 3 email introductions. Flag the targets need or pain point and introduce your company product or service as the answer, perhaps including an offer. During week 2, send a postcard or a letter package that starts with the prospects made and introduce your company’s solution with an offer.

During week 3, send one to two emails, recapping your message. Recap the earlier message and introduce new support points. During week 4, send one to two emails with social proof to reference the fact that others like the target have already responded. Recap your offer.

During week 5, send a last-chance postcard designed to drive urgency and include a more attractive offer. During week 6, send a last-chance email, further promoting the urgency and perhaps including an even more attractive offer.

As your prospects convert, move them out of the flow. After week 6, the remaining prospects should be rested and set aside for a future effort.

Best Practices

Use the 40/40/20 rule. 40% of your mailer success will come from the list, which involves targeting the right prospects at the right time. 40% of it will come from the offer, which needs to be both compelling and relevant. 20% will come from the creative. The copy and artwork need to be motivating and attention-grabbing.

Use eye-magnet words such as free, now, new, announcing, and introducing. They have been scientifically proven to attract above-average readership. The words easy, improved, and quick have been shown to lift product sales, so you need to use them.

Use social proof. The principle states that when people aren’t sure about what action to take, they do what they see others like them doing. Highlight customer testimonials and indicate the number of satisfied customers as social proof will increase direct mail response rate.

Use what you know about your customers, including their preferences and past behaviors, to inform your subsequent communications and frame new sales opportunities. Take a programmatic approach instead of a series of unrelated one-offs.

Use the principle of consistency. Research has shown that once someone makes a decision, they will want to act on it in ways that are consistent with the decision. Remind customers that they have already made the decision to buy from you, and doing so will increase the likelihood they will buy from you again.

Don’t try to sell another service or a product. Instead, focus on selling a solution to a problem because that is what people buy.

Use the power of exclusivity. Offer customer-only discounts and sales that are not available to the general public. Having preferred access increases loyalty and spurs additional purchases.

Communicate with your customers regularly. Reinforce their smart decision to purchase your product. Keep them up-to-date with product enhancements and news before you inform the general public.

Capitalize on surprise and delight by providing unexpected offers or services such as sending a birthday message or percentage off coupon. Show and tell your customers that you appreciate their business.

Though the internet plays a significant role in the day-to-day life of consumers, brands need to remember that marketing can depend on so much more. For successful campaigns, marketers have to think about the variety of mediums they can use to interact with their customers.


Promote Your Website With These Outreach Marketing Techniques

If you build it, they will come just doesn’t work when it comes to websites and online businesses. With so much out there, you have to make sure people know you’re there, and that means taking action to promote your website. Sure, you can invest in social media advertising and search engine optimization, but there are many different methods to consider including in your digital marketing strategy.

Become a Fixture in Relevant Online Communities

Being known is the foundation of successful outreach. When people recognize your name, they’re more likely to respond.

To create this top-of-mind presence, you’ll need to become an active member in an online community where your target audience is. These communities are full of people you might be trying to reach, and are full of potential because they are niche.

A lot of marketers fail to leverage the high activity of the audiences in these networks because they’re focused on the short-term benefits, rather than the long-term effort. How can you become recognizable so people start to know who you are, and listen to what you have to say?

Participate in Conversations

Spend a bit of time every day taking time to engage others in conversation. Go through threads and answer questions. Ask questions. Introduce yourself. Participation is the key to getting your name to show up throughout the community.

Start Conversations

Don’t be afraid to start a conversation if you’re new to a community. You can create a post that details who you are, why you’re excited to be part of the community, and then asks others to share with you. The important thing is to respond to people who engage with you, whether or not you started the conversation.

Offer Value

The most critical part of online community participation is ensuring you offer value to the community. Don’t just blatantly self promote your products or services. People will start to ignore you and you’ll damage your reputation. If a product or service you offer could genuinely help a person, you can suggest it, of course, but it’s best to point people to your lead nurturing materials to start the relationship off on the right foot. Always maintain a professional demeanor online, behaving courteously and avoiding drama.

Publish Content on Other Websites

One of the fastest ways to build brand recognition and build backlinks to boost your SEO is to post content on other websites. For best results, these websites should be related to your product or service, or at the very least, be places where your target audience can be found. Look for industry publications, blogs, and other websites that get a lot of traffic. In the search engine optimization, business, and marketing niches, popular sites that accept contributors are Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Inc. Not everyone will be accepted as a contributor, though, so it’s best to start with smaller websites in your niche.

Focus on Targeted Sharing

Facebook is no longer the marketing giant it was because of the limited organic reach businesses have because of algorithm changes.  One of the best ways to reach more people on social media is to use targeted sharing.

This method essentially tags someone in a post with the opt they’ll share your content with their audience. You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Link to sources featured in the article in a snippet you’d share.
  • Link to people in the snippet who’d be interested in your article.
  • Engage directly with a question or point of debate to start a conversation.

You can use Twitter’s advanced search tools to find people in your niche that are also close to you geographically, using hashtags and more.

Connect with Influencers

Host an influencer event. Pick a location to plan event that appeals to the influencers you’re most interested in working with. Start small by doing something locally and inviting influencers to your retail location, or plan something bigger than lasts all weekend and includes your brand while also highlighting influencers and their interests.

Spend some time finding influencers to engage with online before trying to hire them to work with your brand. There are several influencer marketing platforms available to help make your search easier.

Ask Your Network How They Want to be Marketed With

Once you’ve built a small network, reach out to them via email to find out how they want to work with you. This fosters a partnership and shows the current network and future customers you want to market with them, rather than at them. Whatever you do, just make sure you follow through on what the majority of people ask of you with your marketing. If they tell you they don’t want you to send them a ton of email updates – then don’t. Acting differently from what their feedback suggests you should do will create issues with trust.

Stay Authentic

Authenticity matters. It helps humanize your brand, which makes it easier for customers to connect with you and relate to you. One of the ways you can promote authenticity in your brand and marketing is to take the time to write a blog post about when you or your brand weren’t at your best. Don’t focus on perfection; focus on honesty and transparency instead. Own your mistakes. Tell people about a decision you made that you learned from. You can use this lesson to help others, and this helps foster a stronger connection with those people.

Though it can be nerve-wracking because you want to get as many people to your website as fast as you can because you’re excited, it’s important to realize that not everyone will have that excitement – especially if they’ve never heard of your or your company. Focus on the big picture and play the long game. It’s the relationships you make and connections you build that make all the difference in your success in the end. Putting more effort there now will definitely pay off.

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