For opt-ins, direct mail has tangible value

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Debbie Simpson, president, Multi-Craft
Debbie Simpson, president, Multi-Craft
Research shows that customers who interact with you over multiple channels are more loyal, purchase more and are more profitable than those you interact with over a single channel.

As such, email remains an important part of the marketing mix and is a cost-effective tool for customer retention and the nurturing of existing leads. While email has a “free” feel to it, the channel is diluted and it is not always looked upon as having value because emails are easily disposed – one click and they're gone. Direct mail, however, is still looked upon as having value, and it is the only media still delivered by hand. Most recipients are accepting of targeted, opt-in emails and although the construction of opt-in lists takes longer, marketers are rewarded by obtaining a higher yield of strong leads.

Fifty-three percent of all respondents in an Epsilon study from last year said they pay closer attention to information they receive by postal mail compared with email.

Targeted prospects that are new to your sales funnel will prefer direct mail. Better results can be attained by segmenting your list and optimizing the marketing message for each targeted group. The more relevant variable data and graphics the direct mail piece contains, the higher your response rate will be. Those respondents can then be directed online and into your sales funnel. At this point you can then begin effective email communication with them.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, 33% of consumers go online to respond to direct mail. If personal URLS and landing pages are used, this response rate can increase 20-30%. Properly timed and planned uses of direct mail and email can maximize the results of your direct marketing campaigns. Each channel has value in differing capacities, but be aware of your target recipients, cost and the message when deciding how to incorporate direct mail or email in your marketing plans. More often than not, some mix of the two will prove most effective.

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