If you haven’t started, now is the time to plan this year’s effective marketing strategy. Will direct mail marketing automation make the cut?
Many marketers will surely focus on personalized social, paid media and email efforts this year. But while robust online marketing campaigns are increasingly important, you can overcome digital shortcomings with direct mail automation. Consumers can easily miss, ignore and delete emails, but they must interact in some way with the mail sent to their homes.
Direct mail campaigns continue to outperform email, even in the era of highly targeted digital marketing channels. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail campaigns generate 10 percent more customers than email, despite the growing popularity of automated online promotions.
Pro tip: Automation can be also applied to direct mail marketing campaigns, though. In fact, it is a highly popular trend. And if you’ve decided to use automation in your direct mail marketing efforts, your next step is to carefully consider the automation software on the market in order to choose the most suitable direct direct mail automation vendor.
With direct mail automation you will be able to integrate lists from your CRM, design your mail pieces, personalize and print your direct mail and ship – all in a couple of clicks. A good direct mail automation provider, like Inkit, will also provide a 24/7 customer support advising on best strategy to achieve your specific marketing campaign goals, as well as integrations with the most popular CRMs.
In this post, we look at five ways you can enhance your marketing campaigns and marketing automation with direct mail this year.
1. Combine existing email marketing campaigns with direct mail automation.
Syncing automated email with direct mail is one of the easiest ways to increase an existing marketing campaign’s response rate. In general, direct mail campaigns have a much higher open rate than email, and DMA reports customers spend an average of 25 percent more when companies send a mix of email and direct mail.
Rest assured you don’t need to have a huge mailing list to send a marketing postcard anymore. Inkit’s software makes it easy for you to automatically mail postcards in small batches and even individually as consumers reach triggers in your digital campaigns.
Inkit is integrated with Hubspot, Sailthru, Iterable and Drip, allowing you to send targeted mailers straight from those platforms. If you use another automation platform, simply upload your list to send a postcard through Inkit. Reach and retain your customers across all marketing channels, and segment your target audiences based on demographics or customer data to reach more customers.
Pro tip: Review your existing marketing campaigns and add direct mail automation where you need to overcome low email open rates or “banner blindness.”
2. Test your postcard automation campaigns and pivot.
With the advances in marketing automation, you have no excuse to let data guide your decision-making both online and offline. Adding a piece of direct mail to automated campaigns gives you powerful data points.
Do you have a seemingly well-designed marketing campaign that just isn’t getting results? Run an a/b test by sending out the same offer via different types of direct mail to see whether the redemption rate goes up. With direct mail’s higher open rates, the response should improve as long as the targeting and the offer are solid.
Another way to test your mailers is to send different versions to different segments of your target list, collect data, and pivot quickly. Compare different postcard designs, offers, and segments, and identify the ones that yield the best results. With direct mail A/B testing, though, you’ll have to create randomized test groups in advance. Learn how to run additional direct mail tests here.
Pro tip: Before you run the test, think about the response rate you’re hoping to see for your direct mail marketing campaign. Then, you’ll have an easy benchmark for success when it’s time to add up the results.
3. Provide a consistent brand awareness experience.
The most successful companies offer a consistent brand experience across multiple touch-points. Offering a familiar brand, building trust online and offline, doesn’t have to be difficult. It shouldn’t require much back-and-forth to sync your branding efforts across mediums.
Direct mail campaigns are a good starting point for small businesses. Spread the word about your small business in a neighborhood. You can do that by welcoming your first potential clients to the grand opening, or offer them some discount for their first purchase or services your business provides.
For larger enterprises, direct mail is a great way to kick-off your customer or employee onboarding campaigns, and begin your lead or customer nurturing.
Start with the cohesive voice and imagery that you should already be using online, and place the same graphics and tone into your direct mailers. Try Inkit’s plug-and-play interface now to see how quick and easy it is to create branded postcards or other direct mailers that match your online efforts.
4. Engage consumers and capture more information with integrated marketing campaigns.
There are many possibilities to incorporate digital elements into your direct mail postcards, reaping the benefits of an audience engaged across different marketing mediums. For example, use a QR code on a postcard to direct consumers to landing page, your website, or a video. With traceable links, you can capture information like location, demographics and conversions—learning more about how consumers interact with your brand online and offline.
Upon scanning a QR code, consumers should get a chance to get additional information, benefits or a chance to connect with you quickly – for example, navigate to your location, place an order, or leave a review among other actions.
Pro tip: in order to capture your potential audience attention create a compelling call to action, which is the most important step of any successful campaign. Inkit offers a user friendly custom template builder with features for fonts, colors, and image uploads. Simply plug-and-play on the builder to design the best visually attractive direct mail for your customers.
5. Prioritize market segmentation in automated direct mail campaigns.
The more you understand your audience, the better you can communicate with them through all channels, from Facebook to paid media, to email and direct mail. With the added engagement and rich data captured from direct mail marketing campaigns, comes the opportunity for better segmentation and targeting. This way, marketers can use the variable customer data to create truly personalized direct mail marketing campaigns.
While there are many creative ways to personalize and automate marketing materials, email and social media channels will continue to become more crowded this year. As you work on your 2018 effective marketing plan, consider a multi-channel approach that automates direct mail to enhance your digital marketing campaigns.
Direct mail marketing can be easy and effortless. Automation software ensures the simplicity of this previously long and tedious process. You don’t have to look for a professional designer or a copywriter anymore as you can now manage all the activities and set up your campaigns – from the design and personalization to shipping – from a single place. Any direct mail marketing campaign, no matter a large batch or small, can now be launched with a few clicks.
Inkit is a leading direct mail automation company, which offers you a full range of activities required for the proper launch of any direct mail marketing campaign, starting from built-in self-design template builder and to direct mail response rate tracking.
Stand out from the crowd by adding direct mail automation to the mix. Click here to to schedule a demo and try the new era of automation.