Many companies view online marketing and direct mail as two competitive strategies. To them, it’s either/or.
They may believe that all that is needed for success is a strong online presence: a search-friendly website and an effective pay-per-click or email marketing strategy.
While this is important, any company that discards direct mail in their marketing plan is missing the bigger picture and leaving money on the table.
In a recently published article, Deliver Magazine stated that customers who receive a printed catalog spent more meaningful time on the company’s website and purchased 28% more on average than customers who did not receive a catalog.
In order to position your marketing program for optimal success, it’s crucial to integrate direct mail with your online marketing efforts. An effective direct mail campaign will help drive traffic to your website and landing pages that you would not normally get from PPC campaigns.
There are other key benefits you get from integrating direct mail into your overall marketing strategy:
- Your ability to present your ad to only your ideal audience is what direct mail is all about. After analyzing your existing customers and extracting common characteristics, you can use that information to pull mailing lists that drill down to the precise group that you’re looking to reach---essentially advertising to prequalified prospects.
- Many consumers are becoming desensitized to email marketing and online advertisements. Even if it is eventually discarded a direct mail post card stands a better chance of being read by your target audience.
The key is integration. Direct mail will never be able to compete with the speed and cost-effectiveness of the internet, but the internet cannot compete with direct mail when it comes to targeting a specific audience.
The point is that they don’t have to compete. When used collectively, online and offline strategies can boost your marketing efficiency.
Contact one of DataWerx's marketing experts to discuss which marketing mix is right for your business.
For any number of reasons your initial efforts to close leads didn’t pan out. It happens. No one closes them all. So now what?
Email has made following up on dormant leads more effective and efficient. But to maximize the results you’ll need to develop a system. The answer is developing and implementing a drip marketing campaign.
Drip marketing is simply establishing an on-going, systematic communications schedule with your prospects. Direct mail is an alternative, but a more costly one. Using autoresponder software the drip marketing campaign is almost entirely automated once the initial set-up work is done.
A Couple of Tips
You’ll need to separate your dormant leads with emails from those without. If you’re using a CRM software to house lead data that’s usually a pretty easy process.
Make sure your data is clean including correct valid names, contact information and the like. You’ll also want to de-dupe the list so prospects aren’t inundated with the same message.
Remember drip marketing is an on-going process. Once you’ve determined when and how often emails are to be sent craft your messages appropriately. Since these are dormant leads you probably have some background information. Use it to carve out segments if possible and drive the message content.
Think of this as an on-going process. In other words, each contact/email should build on the prior one. Dormant leads can lay untouched for a long time so establish trust first and build from there. Getting the right message in front of a prospect is great, but only if the timing is right. An automated drip marketing campaign will ensure you’ll be ready when they are.
Change isn’t necessarily easy. And for some, it can be downright hard. But a shift in mindset is in order. It’s simply not cost effective to approach marketing in the traditional manner anymore. Average response rates of 1% to 2% shouldn’t be acceptable, nor do they have to be.
You probably have multiple sources of information – Customers, prospects, other departments, third party data providers – you name it. First, integrate this disparate data into a cohesive, usable format. Information should be the basis of your marketing efforts, but it’s got to be easily accessible to be effective.
Now, segment the data into groups with similar characteristics and behaviors. Some detailed analysis will provide commonalities amongst your best (and worst) customers. Commonalities you can then use in your marketing efforts.
What’s In It for Me?
Using data to drive marketing will lead to response rates 3, 4 and even 5 times that of traditional campaigns because you’ll know who to target and what they really want. That translates to better ROI, a more efficient process and easier measurement of results.
Each successive targeted campaign will provide you with even more information for future efforts. What worked? What didn’t? What can be improved and what did you learn? Before long your data will be useful to the whole company, not just marketing.
Improve your retention rates, particularly for your most important customers. Your best customers share certain traits – maybe buying preferences, demographic or social behaviors. Knowing this will allow you to better serve this important group, and find others just like them.
Making the shift to a data-driven culture will take some work – most good things do. But the results will make you wonder why you didn’t do it years ago. Good question.
Today marketing professionals have more data, which equates to more opportunity, than ever before. Understanding how to sort through and use this information, streamline marketing efforts and drive better results is what identifying your ideal customer is all about.
Where to start? Analyze the characteristics of your best and most profitable customers. With some investigation you’ll find your key customers share a number of traits. Now we need to determine what those traits are and how best to utilize that information.
Identifying the Ideal Customer
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Assess your business objectives: In order to identify your ideal customer, you must first take inventory of your key business objectives. For example, is your goal to increase online purchases, thereby reducing overhead? Or is it to increase the profitability of each new customer? Whatever they may be, clearly assessing your business objectives allows you to more accurately segment your customers by their real value to your company.
Segmentation: Now that you’ve assessed your business objectives, use the information in your database to carve out, or segment, customers that meet your criteria. Segmentation allows you to focus your marketing efforts on customer profiles you’ve defined as “ideal.” Invariably, you will find behavioral and buying patterns, demographic similarities and other commonalities among customers.
Append your data: A segmented customer database in itself is extremely valuable, but it can still be improved upon. What are your ideal customers’ online purchasing habits? What about their socio-economic or life style characteristics? How do they prefer to be marketed to? Appending data can provide all of that information, and more.
Starting your marketing efforts with a comprehensive analysis of your ideal customers is the first step to improved response rates and ROI.