When we think about multi-channel or cross-channel Marketing as a strategy to engage customers and generate revenue for a business, it’s usually difficult to consider offline channels as part of that strategy.
But for that Marketing strategy to be successful, it’s important that our message remains not only consistent throughout every single interaction that each customer has with our brand, but that is also that is highly personalized based on different aspects of data that we have collected for each customer.
Email and Direct Mail are, among others, critical pieces of a marketing strategy and if layered correctly, they can provide a lot of value to your customer.
In this article I will enumerate the five key components to a successful integration between these two worlds:
Sounds obvious, right? The first step is establishing a strategy. Set up the goals for your marketing strategy and determine the different interactions and touch points that each customer will have with your business. Asking yourself the following questions will help you draft this strategy:
- Are we collecting data about the interactions that the customer has with our brand? (purchases, email behavior, website visits, etc).
- Are we able to execute a personalized Direct mail campaign with our current Direct Mail Vendor?
- Are we able to consolidate data from past Email and Direct Mail campaigns to decide the next best course of action?
If you truly want to deploy 1:1 communications, you need to be capturing customer data. If you’re not doing so already, you need a strategy in place to collect customer data. When it comes to email, you should have a preference center website that enables recipients to update communication preferences. Always remember to follow CAN-SPAM rules and offer users the opportunity to opt-in and out of communications. Remember, with this approach, you’re not blasting everyone on your list – you’re selecting recipients based on preferences or triggers that you’re establishing.
An advanced platform such as ExactTarget will help you house customer data, deliver email messages and create personalized journeys based on the data you are capturing. Here at Precision Dialogue we specialize in connecting platforms like ExactTarget with our Direct Mail Digital Variable Printing engines, to allow Marketers to trigger Direct Mail communications based on real time triggers and vice versa. For this component, you don’t need to focus only on the technology but also on the team that will execute your Marketing campaigns. This process could be a full time job for several people. It’s best to leverage a campaign management team or an agency to handle the entire coordination and execution of the campaigns.
4. DAM (Digital Asset Management)
You have your strategy, you have your Delivery mechanism. Now the question is, where do you store all assets for Direct Mail campaigns? And can these assets be also on the same location as my email assets? A DAM such as Widen, enables companies to house all digital assets such as imagery, logos, videos and more to create, manage, share and analyze digital content. If you have a complex approval process, a tool like Widen will allow you to simplify this process with out-of-the-box and easy to use feedback functionality.
It’s imperative to track the performance of your campaigns to see how they were received by your targeted audiences. You can acquire basic reporting from your email platform that will provide basic metrics including open rates and click through rates and you can get simple tracking via coupons on direct mail pieces. However, the process of compiling all measurements into one document takes time. Combining this information in a single reporting tool will allow you to spend more time analyzing the information instead of trying to collect it from multiple sources. After you analyze the results from your campaign, it’s best to revisit the strategy and adjust the campaign if needed to achieve better results.
If cross-channel marketing is one of your goals for 2015, be sure to keep in mind that A) direct mail should definitely be included and B) email can be integrated with direct mail to optimize 1:1 customer communications.
Need help integrating these channels into your marketing mix? Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn how we can help brainstorm a plan to meet your goals!