Email Marketing + Direct Mail: The Marketing Alley-Oop

This is the 4th part of a 5-part series on combining digital and print marketing. You can catch up here. You can also get these posts sent right to your inbox, if that’s more your style.

Pop Quiz: Would you rather add more new customers or sell more to your existing customers?

*Jeopardy Music*

If you picked one, either one, that’s incorrect. The right answer is “I’ll take both, thank you very much.”

For some reason, businesses large and small have taken this either/or approach to their marketing and it’s costing them. This post is going to show you how to beat them by changing the conversation from “email vs direct mail” to “email and direct mail.”

Email Marketing + Direct Mail: The Marketing Alley-Oop

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Engage your prospect everywhere.

This basic advice is ignored a lot these days. If you’re trying to reach a human who is both online and offline, it would seem only logical that your marketing should also be both online and offline.

How do you use email and direct mail seamlessly?

 

They’re not as different as you may think. You’re reaching out to the same people with a way to either solve a problem or help them achieve something they want. There are some key difference in what makes copywriting effective for digital vs print – here’s a free guide to help you nail each.

The first step in a successful email and direct mail alley-oop is working on them together, at the same time. Here’s your basic approach:

  1. Identify what you need to say and who you need to say it to. Then define what you want them to do (the ask or CTA) and why they should care.
  2. Create your offer and message based on the above direction.
  3. If you have a sales team, get their thoughts on the work. They know what motivates prospects and can make your marketing more effective.
  4. Find the best way to communicate this art & copy in both direct mail and email.
  5. Once you’re done making revisions, review them together to ensure they’re aligned.
  6. Review your mailing list and email list to ensure the audience is the same and it matches the audience you defined in step one.

This is a simple way to send both messages at the same time. But your emails and direct mails probably won’t always be going out at the same time. After all, they have different strengths and weaknesses and that’s just not how alley-oops work.

Cold direct mails are so much better than cold emails. (And really, you shouldn’t ever be emailing someone who hasn’t given you permission to email them. People hate that and the click through rates prove as much.) So, if your piece will be the first touch with a prospect, use direct mail first to get their email (or permission to email them) then craft that perfect marketing email to get the ultimate action you want. A letter is a great way to get a cold lead to open and read your message. So start there.

In this case, your basic process would look something like this:

Identify what you need to say and who you need to say it to? Then define what you want them to do (the ask or CTA) and why they should care.

  1. Break that task down into 2 steps, the first should get them to a webpage where you can convince them to give you their email in exchange for an offer or discount.
  2. Create your offer, message and look/feel for this mini campaign.
  3. If you have a sales team, get their thoughts on the work. They know what motivates prospects and can make your marketing more effective.
  4. Take that art & copy and translate it into a letter first, then an email.
  5. Give your direct mail about week to get there and get read before sending the follow-up email.

Concepting and creating the two pieces together will help you keep the process seamless for the prospect.

That first touch direct mail is crucial in this approach. If it doesn’t work, nothing else matters. Find a printer who is a total pro with direct mail – no Kinkos or Print 4 Less for this one. If you call your printer and they can’t or won’t help you craft the perfect direct mail for what you’re trying to accomplish, hang up and call us.

 

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Next up in our series: The Recap.

All the advice from the past 5 blogs all in one spot. Stay tuned.