Tying together direct marketing channels
Direct mail complemented by email and social can benefit immensely from modern prospect list technologies.
Direct marketing is undergoing tremendous changes. It’s being used these days as much for managing customer relationships as it is as a campaign. Companies are shifting much of their work toward analytics that drive trigger-based communications, and the technology has finally caught up with the hype: to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, based on behavior and responses.
This all comes down to great marketing lists—lists that are up to date, complete and without missing fields, and that are able to target precise demographics, households and audience responses.
Yes, there has been a movement away from direct mail to other media, such as email and social. But those channels are also benefitting from digitally informed data sets and lists, and as a result, marketers are able to create a more complete ecosystem of physical and digital marketing communications.
Direct marketing these days is a generous smorgasbord, with many elements that complement each other.
The power of direct mail
Direct mail is definitely not passé. According to the Data & Marketing Association, a subsidiary of the Association of National Advertisers, 65% of consumers of any age have bought a product directly as a result of direct mail.
And catalogs most certainly still have their place. Management consulting firm Kurt Salmon has found that 58% of online shoppers get their ideas from checking out the catalogs they receive in the mail, and one-third state they have a retailer’s catalog ready at hand when making an online purchase. Catalogs are particularly appealing to young women ages 18-30, with 90% reporting that they bought products they first saw in a catalog.
Email also is a powerful direct marketing tool. Like physical mail, it can be highly targeted and efficient. And with a high degree of customization to provide continuous communications, email can be particularly effective for retention.
But email is a money-maker, too. According to well-known marketing consultant Jay Baer, 44% of email recipients make at least one purchase annually based on a promotional email. And retail shopping site Blue Kangaroo notes that 70% of recipients make use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email.
Essentially, a successful email campaign must assure that your email gets delivered to the right people. The wastage of incorrect email addresses isn’t in lost investments in printing and mailing, but rather in lost opportunities, and the threat of a damaged sender reputation.
Striving for consideration
Where does social fit into a direct marketing campaign? As an integral, but slightly different, animal. The call-to-action is a very delicate thing. Traditionally, direct marketers have been focused on the transaction – talking to people who were ready to buy. But a new view is to say, “When you’re ready to buy we’ll be ready to meet you.”
According to Forbes, direct selling companies can benefit in particular from live streaming, using such tools as Facebook Live. Perhaps your company’s CEO can share inspirational success stories, or a line manager can offer a live tutorial. The point of live streaming in a direct marketing context is to strengthen the connection that customers and prospects feel with your company and your people.
For each of these direct marketing channels, take advantage of available tools to clean, update, and extend your proprietary lists, and especially data you acquire elsewhere. Information-heavy sources, such as those from Dun & Bradstreet, will always have their place. The difference today is that you don’t have to hire interns to double-check names, addresses, contact information, email addresses and social tags.
It’s all possible with modern list management: updating, cleansing and appending services.
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