Many consumers equate a direct mail piece with another item to toss into the recycle bin. But direct mail, when integrated with a well-designed cross-media marketing campaign, can be integrated with a business’s online marketing strategy to become a powerful tool to generate qualified leads and to convert those leads into sales. It’s more than creating and maintaining online presence and visibility (via websites, social media sites, SEO, SEM, and banner advertising). There needs to be a marketing mix including valuable, “traditional” direct mail marketing. Combining online with traditional marketing packs a powerful punch.
What is “cross-media marketing”? Simply put, it’s the process of using multiple marketing channels, or media, to conduct a marketing campaign to a target audience (or audiences). What makes a cross-media program so effective?
Direct Mail Marketing 2.0
Cross-media marketing is a lot like conventional direct mail marketing, but offers three key differences:
· Personalization: direct mail marketing pieces are designed to include variable data fields, such as names and addresses, which are personalized for each recipient. These fields can include a pURL which directs each recipient to their own personal landing page. This page can include information specifically targeted to that recipient, such as event registration, opt-ins, surveys, and offers.
· Interaction: because recipients are directed to a landing page which contains content, images, and other information pertinent to them, they’re much more apt to explore and learn more about your products and services. The use of links to social media sites and opt-in forms gives your business an immediate opportunity to engage with them. Finally, because landing pages are designed to be responsive, they can be easily accessed by desktop and mobile devices, anywhere and at any time.
· Measurability: Using pURLs, text messages, emails, QR codes, and unique phone numbers on direct mail pieces provides a variety of ways to track response rates. Reports can be run as needed to track campaign activity in real time; these reports can be useful in developing future campaigns.
Another cross-media option is the use of a static or generic landing page (or gURL). A gURL allows you to direct all recipients in a targeted group to one landing page specially designed for their particular segment. When a gURL is clicked, or a QR code is scanned, those actions are trackable. gURLs can be included in social media posts and ads, not just print. A business can target a segment using only a single page and make changes to that page as needed.
4 Benefits of Cross-Medical Marketing
Real-Time Tracking and Results
There are four distinct benefits to using cross-media marketing vs. standard direct mail marketing:
1. Target and Segmentation: cross-media marketing can be used to target a specific audience (or segments of an audience). Direct mail pieces can be designed and personalized to a precise, segmented group – complete with a pURL and a QR code that leads the recipient directly to their individual landing page – based on a particular list. These segments can be extracted from a larger database based on a variety of factors; only the parameters of the database limit your ability to segment your list!
2. Tracking: results can be tracked and measured in real time. Detailed information is provided about every visitor to each page, such as page visits, link clicks, and opt-in and survey responses, can be measured not only to track each individual campaign but also to measure responses over the course of subsequent campaigns, so that copy, graphics, and/or segmentation criteria can be evaluated and improved upon.
3. Flexibility: a variety of direct mail options can be used – from a simple post card to a multipage brochure. In addition, multiple phases of the campaign can be used for the same target audience. For example, a post card for Phase One can be followed by a brochure or catalog for Phase Two, once the results of the first phase are evaluated and tweaked. Different direct mail pieces can also be sent to different segments, to test response rates based on print media type.
4. Cost Accountability: you will know how many pieces were mailed, the cost for each piece (including costs for pURLs and postage), and the number of recipients who responded. Based on these figures, and if closely tracked, you can quickly determine your ROI from a campaign. This is important for the justification of a business’s marketing budget.
Plan for a Successful Cross-Media Campaign
A final note: the key to an effective cross-media marketing campaign is organization. Make certain that your lists are as accurate and segmented as possible. Ensure that your landing pages contain data collection forms that are clearly written, easy to use, and designed to gather the pertinent information you seek. Allow each visitor the opportunity to “opt-out” if desired. Develop a rapid system of follow-up for each page visitor. Measure your results so that you can tweak future programs. Above all, recognize that cross-media marketing is an essential and tool in your marketing toolbox, a way to merge traditional direct mail with cutting-edge, integrated marketing technology.