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Friday, January 23, 2015

Make the Multi-Channel Approach Work in 2015

Yearly mail volume sent in 2007: 212 billion
Yearly mail volume sent in 2013: 158 billion
Weekly average of business and marketing emails read by consumers in 2007: 304
Daily business and marketing emails sent in 2013: 100 billion

While email and all things digital remain powerhouses in marketing, direct mail is also an effective medium when it’s part of a multi-channel approach. The numbers above clearly reflect a downturn in print mail pieces, but they also speak to a key direct mail strategy: the use of effective targeted marketing. What does this mean? The age of big data stepped in. For marketers, that meant targeting their messaging to more than mere demographics. For consumers, that meant fewer pieces to sort through and a greater likelihood that targeted pieces received were considered.

In 2015, the intersection of effective targeted marketing and integrated print and digital messaging can optimize consumer engagement with your brand. Here are a few tips to help you plan your marketing and make a multi-channel approach work for your brand:

Personalize your campaigns.
Data selects such as age, ethnicity, gender and zip code are the fundamental bits of information needed to begin any direct mail campaign, but big data is about more multifaceted information. Who are your prospects? What do they like? What are their buying patterns? What are their lifestyles like? This level of data will help you better target your ideal audience.
When you can more strategically target your ideal prospects, you can more effectively personalize your marketing. When your ideal prospects receive personalized marketing, they are more likely to respond to your offer. MindFireInc®, a direct mail tracking software company, studied 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns and found that personalized campaigns consistently and overwhelmingly beat out static campaigns in generating a high response rate from recipients. 
Tell your story.
Brand advocates are the most powerful force in marketing. Do you have customers who can attest to your brand’s way of doing business? To your brand’s products and service? Using their testimonials on your direct mail pieces can not only tell your story but can also build your credibility.
What other stories are meaningful to understanding your brand? Think about marketing pieces you connect with: what types of stories do they tell? Solidify your relationships with your target prospects by evoking emotional responses; sharing your brand’s stream of stories that create its overarching narrative is crucial when earning connections with your prospects.
Mix your marketing.
Print marketing has more than earned its place at the table, and so has digital. 2015 will see this integration pushed further, making both mediums work for your brand. Use your social media footprint on your print pieces to encourage your prospects’ engagement with your brand. Conversations on these platforms build brand awareness as well as brand advocates. Also, track responses with personalized URLs (PURLs). This gives your prospects a way to respond online and gives them a more unique experience with your digital identity than merely sending them to your company website. 

By: Susan Gail Taylor, Social Media Manager and Copywriter at RME360