You may have been the postcards landing on your doormat highlighting the postal service’s incredible reach. They boast about the ability to connect with more customers and gain better traction than you ever could with social media or SEO. So, is there any weight to these claims? Is direct mail still a valid marketing avenue?

Digital natives might be surprised to learn this. After all, they have only ever known about digital marketing. The idea of a company printing physical products and sending them to people’s homes sounds completely absurd. However, when paired with email marketing, direct main can be incredibly effective. In this article, the email marketing expects from Abacus Marketing will share their insight on the best ways to integrate direct mail with email.

Why is direct mail making a comeback?

Imagine you found the perfect spot in the park to sell lemonade. You’re there every weekend and have a steady flow of customers. Before long, other lemonade sellers pick up on your success and start doing to the same thing. People start paying less attention to your lemonade because you have so much competition.

The same applies to direct marketing and email marketing. Email marketing is popular at the moment because it’s easy to do. However, because it’s easy, the barriers to entry are incredibly low. Anyone can build an email list and start sending emails. The result? People start paying less attention to your emails because they are getting emails from so many different companies.

However, direct mail is a less saturated marketing avenue. It costs more to send mail, so not as many companies are doing it. The result, less competition for attention.

direct mail marketing

What are the downfalls of direct mail marketing?

Perhaps the biggest pitfall of direct mail marketing is that it’s harder to track the journey. If a user clicks from your email to your website, you know exactly how many people landed on your site as a result of your email. It gets a little trickier to track these things with direct mail. That said, it isn’t impossible.

Perhaps the best way to encourage online activity as the result of your direct mail marketing is to include an offer with an identifiable discount code. You could also send users to a microsite. You could also use number tracking to create a unique phone number so you’ll know where enquiries originate.

The best ways to integrate

As the title of this article suggests, using direct mail and email marketing in tandem is the most effective. You can do this in the following ways.

  • Prospect with direct mail and follow up with email
  • Start the onboarding with direct mail and follow up with email
  • Market your events with direct mail and emails
  • Use direct mail to follow up with non responders
  • Basket reminders for ecommerce sites

Things to consider

When integrating your direct mail and email marketing efforts, it’s important to pace yourself. A customer could very quickly feel overwhelmed if they have received multiple pieces of mail in addition to emails. You don’t want to seem like you are employing aggressive or even wasteful sales tactics, to go easy.

You should also consider using specialist landing pages so that you can track the success of your campaigns. There’s no sense in sending direct mail and email traffic to the same landing page, so consider duplicating your landing pages so you get a better view of success in analytics.

Things to avoid

In all cases, you should make sure that using direct mail and email marketing adds value. It shouldn’t dilute the process and create unnecessary steps for the user. For example, tempting people with an offer in direct mail and then asking them to sign up for a newsletter to access the final offer code is rather convoluted. However, if your plan is to move away from direct mail and you want to make sure you don’t leave anyone behind, then this method can be highly effective.