Great Alone, Better Together: The Power of Direct + Digital

Traditional and digital marketing are not opposing forces; they are actually well-suited to work together to deliver highly sophisticated, high-performing campaigns.

Digital marketing is irresistible to many brands and for good reason. Its low CPM is just the start — digital is also attractive because of the amount of data generated. Data points can offer deeper insights to help target future campaigns and multiply the effectiveness of other media, which is a tremendous gain. Digital’s flexibility is also very compelling; creative can be tweaked almost immediately — even mid-campaign.

Direct mail is best known for cutting through the clutter. With impressive open and offer recall rates, direct mail creates a high-quality interaction with customers and prospects. What’s more, print recipients tend to outspend those converted through digital means and therefore have a high customer lifetime value.

The downside? Direct and digital are wholly distinct entities for many marketers. If that sounds like your brand, here are three ways to pair them for an omnichannel campaign that can yield powerful results:

#1 – Use your offline data for a social campaign

The low CPM of highly-targeted social media ads make them a smart starting point for almost any campaign. Social media can be especially helpful in reactivating offline prospects that haven’t been touched in a while or generating a new crop of leads.

Here’s how: Leverage your offline data by uploading it to Facebook and using it to create a custom audience. Facebook will place your digital ad in front of your offline customers while they’re engaged in browsing their feed. As always, test first to make sure your strategy and creative are on target. d3 typically recommends a test group and a control group, paired with the use of matchback services, to accurately measure response.

#2 – Onboard your offline data for 1:1 digital ad targeting

Expand the life of your direct mail creative with display ads across desktop, mobile and tablet. Together, they create a cohesive presence that works hard for your brand by giving prospects more opportunities to interact with you, and helping to increase both ROI and the lifetime value of the customer.

Here’s how: IP targeting technology makes it possible to programmatically serve digital ads to the right individuals at the right time. Once your data is uploaded, it is anonymized and PII information removed. Segments are then activated in the platform for digital targeting. Impression bidding only occurs on the identified IP addresses, with caps to ensure your message is top of mind but not over-served to any one viewer. Real-time optimization helps ensure your campaign is run as efficiently and effectively as possible.

#3 – Pair postal and email campaigns

Playing to the strengths of each of these marketing methods helps create a powerful impression and an engaging campaign.

Here’s how: Begin with your email list(s) — in-house list of prospects or dormant clients, third-party data, or any combination thereof. Start with an email to weed out bouncebacks and allow for opt-outs before you send a comparatively more costly print piece. We’ve found it most effective to plan a 2-3x frequency of emails; at least one prior to your mailing and one shortly after the piece is expected to arrive in-home to maximize awareness and keep your brand or offer top-of-mind.

Omnichannel campaigns help you make the most of your data investment and can accomplish ambitious goals for your brand. A few final tips for success:

Be consistent. Integrated campaigns work best when the creative is recognizable to the target audience online and offline. Colors, graphics and fonts must be similar across channels. Keep your messaging tightly focused for best results and fast action.

Build your message. When using multi-touch, omnichannel campaigns, you have the opportunity to build a truly compelling message. But don’t mistake consistency for repetitiveness. Plan on varied graphics and fresh copy that stays within the campaign look and feel, so your audience remains engaged and open to your offer.

Be true to your brand. Many times, traditional marketers feel compelled to be more hip or trendy when using digital channels. If that’s not who you are IRL, why fake it? Brand authenticity speaks volumes regardless of channel. And it helps ensure consistency of messaging as noted above.

Digital and direct mail are the perfect complements for each other. Working together, they can make your dollars work harder and smarter and help you create long-lasting, high-profit relationships.

About d3

A division of Specialists Marketing Services, Inc., d3 provides a single, knowledgeable resource for campaign data, strategy and analysis across the digital realm — relieving the day-to-day burden of managing multi-faceted digital campaigns and helping to accelerate your digital marketing ROI. For more information, visit d3specialists.com.

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