Make direct mail center of integrated marketing plan

As we move at light speed into a world that continually serves up new media options, we often look over the documented tenets of good, solid direct mail use in conjunction with an integrated campaign. A quick ?reminder never hurts.?

When planning your tactical approach to integrating your channels, remember the basic principles of direct mail marketing. A methodical and disciplined approach to leveraging channels in concert with direct mail, and each other, is the best way to maximize your ROI. You will want to begin by clearly articulating your objective and determining how you will define and measure success. ?

You can very effectively use direct mail to drive people to other channels while honing your message on a personal ?level. Then, you can closely coordinate the multichannel message to create the overall lift. ?

Leverage data and analytics to understand the audience and create message relevance. Target your direct mail message as tightly as possible and run test cells. These can be split by segment behavior and characteristics to drive a higher response and give you a clearer picture of the best audience for your product. Remember that direct mail is the vehicle with which you can create a one-to-one communication, supplemented by all other channels to create the overall buzz. Don’t lose sight of the strengths of each.?

It is also critical to provide multiple response paths. Determine how your audience can or wants to respond. Is it a consumer or a b-to-b audience? B-to-b customers tend to respond by Web rather than phone. However, 25% of businesses don’t have workplace access. Plan for this event. Use direct mail to test all of the response channels.?

Make sure you understand your cost per response by channel. Determine which media channels and vehicles are generating the most cost efficient responses and conversions, both alone and in varying combinations. Use this information to optimize your media buys, but keep direct mail as the foundation throughout the whole process.?

Leveraged in a smart and thoughtful manner, direct mail can be the catalyst, which makes all of your media channels work harder, serving up stronger results.

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