Utilize digital channels for direct mail that resonates
Karen Menachof, Chief client officer, Catalyst
Direct mail is more interesting than ever and our ability to leverage it effectively to acquire, retain and grow customer relationships gets stronger all the time. It is more expensive than its electronic brethren. However, direct mail has been and will continue to be more impactful as well. That's because consumers have come to expect relevant information in an envelope, so they typically pay attention to it.
As marketers, it's our job not to disappoint them, which means focusing on ways to increase relevance. In the old days, we had few feedback mechanisms to improve our direct mail. We knew how people responded and what they purchased, but little else was learned along the way. This "binary" learning made it difficult to improve our messaging and relevance. Now, there is significantly more opportunity to learn along the way. Here are three simple ideas that can be deployed regardless of what you are selling or who you are selling to.
- By analyzing productive search terms, we can better understand what customers want to learn more about and which types of information will drive them to purchase.
- By incorporating personalized URLs (PURLs), we can track individual respondent behaviors to find out which particular features and benefits are most appealing and which move them from consideration to purchase.
- Through Website tagging, we can find out which pages customers navigate to and learn more about their underlying motivations and pain points.
All of this information can be fed back into your mail communications to improve positioning, messaging, copy, and layout, which will drive increased relevance and yield significant gains in program performance. For example, you may find that your online customers are primarily searching for store location information. Knowing that, you can change the focus of your direct mail communications to include the location of their nearest store and a map. In a b-to-b campaign, your PURLs will yield valuable information about what content is most appealing to specific segments.
Too often, I see marketers who don't apply digital learnings to their direct mail programs, and that's a missed opportunity. These tips and ideas will get you moving in the right direction.