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Can Email and Direct Mail Learn to Love Each Other?

Can Email and Direct Mail Learn to Love Each Other? Keith Trivitt
Growth in the email marketing industry shows no signs of abating. Forrester Research forecasts U.S. email marketing spend to reach $1.7 billion in 2012, a 12-percent increase over 2011. Fueling that growth is the increasing combination of email with social media and direct marketing that many businesses are using to deliver more targeted and relevant campaigns to consumers.

Much of this improvement is based on data and learned information about customers.

New technology has created an evolution for direct mail marketing, allowing companies to seamlessly integrate it with email marketing. This delivers better leads for brands while ensuring their direct mail and email marketing campaigns are actually read by consumers.

Recently, Ed Kats, president of digital media agency MediaWhiz (disclosure: I'm head of marketing and communications at MediaWhiz), was asked by Inc. magazine to offer his thoughts on how companies can effectively integrate direct mail marketing and email marketing. Below is a summary of his responses:

  1. Know your audience and business model and then integrate direct mail marketing and email marketing to either be a 1-2 sales punch or complimentary to each other. For example: direct mail is meant to compel customers into a store through the use of coupons or advertisements. An email is generally meant as an “Act now!” retail sale for non-considered / non-essential purchases. For considered purchases (those that consumers think about purchasing before going to a store or brand website), companies should use direct mail and email marketing in tandem to drive consumers to either call or visit a website and “learn more” about the product.

  2. When used for customer relationship management (CRM) campaigns, businesses should plan their event calendar well ahead of time and make sure they have different conversations with customers across direct mail and email marketing that are complimentary to each other. It’s important, however, that those marketing pieces are segmented by tactic and channel to ensure quality and consistency with how your customers have responded to direct mail and email offers in the past.

What are your tips and best practices for integrating email marketing and direct mail marketing campaigns? Share them in the comments section.

Keith Trivitt is director of marketing and communications at MediaWhiz, a performance marketing and integrated digital media agency.

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