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December 14, 2021

4 Direct Mail Lessons You Can Learn From Email Marketing

by 
Guest Author

Email has been the go-to marketing channel since its inception. It's an effective method that gets you front and center with your audience. Direct mail has often been used as a stand-alone, one-off tactic but marketers have discovered that using direct mail with their other channels is a highly effective way to boost their omnichannel marketing results.

Direct mail has the power to create an emotional connection with your customers. It generates excitement, anticipation, and gratitude and it's one of the most cost-effective marketing mediums.

In this post, we'll share 4 lessons you can learn from email marketing to drive better results with your direct mail.

1. Personalization pays

Personalization was honed in email marketing from the days of inserting {first_name} in the email or subject line. While personalization is considered table stakes these days, you can use data to do a lot more than just insert a customer's first name on your mailpiece. Options for including customization and personalization are endless when you have the right data including things prior purchases, abandoned cart products, product/service usage, etc.

Ideas for personalizing your direct mail campaigns include:

  • Customer-specific images
  • Detailed map of how to get to your closest physical location
  • Personalized landing pages (PURLs)

Use personalization to create a more intentional customer experience and you will reap the rewards.

2. Strong creative captures attention

Crafting an email has moved from coding HTML to using WYSIWYG drag and drop editors that make design faster and easier. Creating a visually compelling email used to take days and now it takes minutes.

The same goes for automated direct mail which requires very little effort on the design side due to templates that can be customized to the individual level.

Your direct mail campaign's visual components are the very first thing the recipient sees. Think layout, colors, font styles, images, and – yes – even how you use the white space. It all matters.

When choosing your fonts, stick just a few. Your fonts should match other marketing materials and branding, as well as complement each other.

For your direct mail colors, what colors make sense for your brand from your audience's perspective? For instance, if you run a healthcare facility, using red is probably not a good idea as it can be construed as danger.

Use the space you have wisely. It shouldn't be your goal to fill up all the open space – a block of white, for instance, can hold the same importance as your images and text fields.

Most of all, be creative like these cool campaigns. But be sure you're direct. Keep your direct mailpieces clear and concise without overusing design elements. Align your mailpiece with your audience. This one simple step can help your direct mail meet your marketing goals. At the end of the day, the right messaging with the right mix of creativity will sell.

3. On-brand copy compels

This lesson from email marketing highlights the benefits of how on-brand copy in your messaging helps customers understand what you're asking and, perhaps most importantly, helps them identify who the mail is from immediately. Some of the most important aspects of email marketing should be leveraged for your direct mail, such as:

  • Keep it short. Get to the point of your mailpiece fast. This ensures the recipient can clearly and quickly scan and understand what you're offering.
  • Authenticity speaks volumes. For every customer touchpoint, you have certain design principles and standards for whatever assets you're employing. Authenticity in your copy reinforces these standards, strengthening the message and your brand.
  • Speak directly to the recipient. You're not speaking to an audience of millions at once – your messaging should read as though it was personally written just for its recipient. Convey your excitement, find common ground, and get them excited, too. This happens when copy is clear and concise, relevant to the recipient, and somehow enlightening.

4. Enticing CTAs get action

The CTA (call to action) is perhaps the part that email marketing does best – closing the deal can happen in seconds. The link is bold, lit up, and begging "click here now". How can you earn the equivalent in direct mail? It all comes down to the copy, placement, and reward of your call-to-action.

The best lessons for enticing CTAs you can learn from email marketing and apply to your direct mail campaigns are:

Be specific.

That's it – tell the recipient exactly what you want them to do.

Offer value.

Click Here works for email, but above the link, there's always some reason given why the recipient should take such action. In direct mail, your CTA cannot be generic. Think of ways you can best answer the question burning in your recipient's mind: Why should I?

Capitalize on FOMO.

Everyone at some point suffers from the Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO. Implying there aren't many of a specific product remaining or that the recipient's access to an exclusive, specific benefit is almost over can be motivational catalysts.

Use technology.

The old go-to CTAs, such as Call Us Today or Visit our website for more information – while they work – aren't the only ways you can enlist consumer interaction today. There are multiple channels through which your customers can reach out and you can provide consistent, meaningful engagement, such as:

  • QR codes. Ask customers to scan the QR code with their device. This can be used for exclusive access to savings, personalized quotes, or other information.
  • Personalized URLs. Also known as PURLs, a personalized URL or landing page is the latest way brands are personalizing the customer experience. Simply adding Visit [yourcompany].com/[recipient name] to your direct mail campaigns can boost interaction and offer a metric you can easily track.

Make it simple.

All of the above should have moved – essentially emotionally moved – your customer to the obvious next step – but is it obvious? Your CTA should be separate from the rest of the copy and simple enough that it's not difficult for your recipient to understand the ask and know the next step.

Send Direct Mail with Lob

Use these lessons from email marketing to get better results from your direct mail. As the only automated direct mail platform for marketers, Lob will help you reimagine what's possible with direct mail. Request a demo to learn more.

This blog provides general information and discussion about direct mail marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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