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Both email marketing and direct mail fall under the same category of direct marketing, however not many marketers know how to combine them effectively, and many more wouldn’t have thought to. Often email and direct mail are pitted against each other as they are relatively similar in terms of communication, and while both have their pros and cons, using them together provides the winning formula to maximise your ROI.

Keep it consistent

One of the most important things a marketer needs to do when using a multi-channel approach is to keep the branding and message consistent through all channels, while keeping it optimised for each platform. Studies show that brands who are consistent with their messaging enjoy 3-4 times more brand visibility, thus increasing brand awareness (Hazzard, 2017).

Not only should you keep consistent through branding, tone-of-voice and the overall message, you should also keep consistent through sending prospects to the same landing pages when utilising email and direct mail. Doing this through email marketing is easy, but through direct mail you can get more creative. Include QR codes, short URL’s or even virtual reality to take prospects to your website. While you may think bringing a lead to your website through an offline channel won’t bring results, direct mail is actually one of the most effective marketing channels to do so – recipients of mail spend 28% more online than those who did not receive printed materials (Gendusa, 2012).

Target non-responders

Email marketing is notorious for its low open rates. That’s why it’s important to follow up your email with direct mail – this could be as simple as a postcard or as creative as a one-piece mailer. According to the DMA, direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate, compared to 0.12% for email, this means that your chances of a purchase is greatly increased through using direct mail as a follow up, rather than another email (Pulcinella, 2017). By getting in front of your audience through this channel you are able to establish a relationship with a whole new audience who don’t respond to email.

Stagger your campaigns

You also shouldn’t bombard your recipients with messages, you need to carefully place out each communication so as to not spam the reader. Spam accounts for more than 14.5 billion email messages globally per day, with 36% of them being advertising-related (SpamLaws, 2018), don’t be one of them. Make sure that the recipient has had an appropriate amount of time to digest the last communication sent. For example, if your recipient has recently abandoned their shopping cart, you want to send them an email as soon as possible, but the next message should be released a few days after, once the recipient has had time to think about the purchase or need reminding about it, by sending this in the form of a mailer, you are able to build trust with the recipient, which will lead to a higher ROI.

Target cart abandoners

Talking about cart abandonment, targeting cart abandoners through email and direct mail is an excellent way of improving your retention rate. 46.1% of all cart abandonment emails are opened, therefore it is imperative to use this platform first. However when following up a second time it’s more important to use direct mail – 92% of young consumers say they prefer direct mail to other media when making marketing decisions (Joseph Merritt, 2016). So if you’ve found a few days have gone past and your recipient hasn’t opened your reminder email, send them a postcard, a one-piece mailer, or a brochure.

For example, if your recipient has left various bedroom furniture or accessories in their basket, send them a bedroom brochure that relates to their choices or offer them a discount on the selected items. Alternatively if your prospect has left a woman’s jacket in their cart, send them a one-piece mailer with outfits and accessories that would match the product abandoned – helping prospects imagine themselves wearing it, and therefore increasing the chance that they complete the purchase.

“92% of young consumers say they prefer direct mail to other media when making marketing decisions” – (Joseph Merritt, 2016)

By using both email and direct mail you are able to combine the swiftness of email with the trust of mail – this gives your company more credibility and allows you to reach your audience in different ways, giving them plenty more opportunities to interact with your brand and more routes to purchase.

MetroMail are able to offer a wide plethora of direct marketing services, including direct mail and email that will allow you to stand out from the crowd and improve your overall ROI.