Leveraging for relevance

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E-mail has always been an effective hook, but recently, use of e-mail first hand got me both hooked and sold. I am reminded and humbled of the tangible benefits of leveraging what we know as we decide how to implement and execute our marketing strategies. E-mail has proven to be cost effective, measureable, and, if targeted to the right person, for the right event, at the right time, the synergy resulting can be magical.

The reality of today's multitasking market place means none of us exist in a vacuum. As we all compete for engagement, the use of a single slice marketing medium approach is no longer sufficiently supportable. The exclusive path to sought after opportunities must be a shared one. Today is also a sensitive political environment with strong opinions on the use of various marketing tools and their perceived intrusiveness. Mindless communication blasts to anyone pre-qualified — or not — is often viewed as unwanted additional noise or junk and incents the clamor for a more responsible, self-enforced coherent approach.

Recently I was looking at soccer uniforms for my son's team. I went to a local retail outlet and registered for additional information. Soon thereafter I received a printed catalog in the mail with a variety of clothing options. Then I received a postcard notifying me of an upcoming event sale. No sooner did I get the postcard in the mail then I also received a follow-up e-mail supporting the same graphics seen in the postcard plus pictures of available uniform complete with my son's teams name displayed. I was directed to a Web site and the sale was made! This entire multichannel experience had me engaged. It was fun and had my attention with several distinct but related consistent touches.

Special emphasis should always be placed on when the prospect actually engages. In conventional direct mail that means use of available tools to confirm when an individual piece of mail is actually received in-home not just placed in the mail.

This then determines an “event,” and can and should trigger additional communication phases across multiple mediums including e-mail, print and even telemarketing. Driven by robust tracking options one can confirm within statistical reason when someone actually receives the individual piece of mail. These mailpiece tracking systems are powerfully used as a trigger for the now well placed and critically well timed follow up or supporting e-mail speaking to the same topic and engaging to the next step.

Peter Towner is account manager at Japs-Olson Company.

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