"Omnichannel" was once a buzzword used to jazz up marketing jargon. However, in recent years, it's anything but fancy lingo — it's a necessary approach for those who want to stay competitive. In 2023 and beyond, creating a cohesive, multi-channel strategy that includes online and offline campaigns will be vital to business success.
Since customers are more aware than ever, with 90% saying they expect their interactions to be consistent across all channels, now is the time to explore the perfect pairing — direct mail and digital channels.
In fact, our 2023 State of Direct Mail report shows:
Here's how to revolutionize available channels, focusing on direct mail best practices.
Using direct mail and SMS triggers
There's nothing revolutionary about texting — it's been around for years. However, in 2022, about 27% more businesses used SMS marketing compared to the previous year. It's a great channel when used effectively, as one in three consumers check text notifications within one minute of receiving a message and 70% of consumers now opt-in to receive texts from businesses.
To further boost engagement, SMS marketing pairs well with direct mail campaigns. Using direct mail best practices, you can engage with consumers by sending a strategically-designed flyer, postcard, or brochure that delivers a strong message and attention-grabbing imagery. You can include an invitation to connect via SMS marketing on that mail piece. That way, you can reconnect when real-time messaging is required in the future.
The key here is to combine the convenience of SMS marketing with the personal touch achieved with direct mail.
Here are some examples:
Use QR codes on your direct mail pieces. This strategy lets you track and measure the performance of direct mail campaigns.
Include mobile wallet-exclusive offers on mail pieces, encouraging recipients to text or scan a code. A strong headline and compelling offer can help drive ROI.
Direct mail campaigns can guide consumers by providing an opt-in phone number. Consumers can receive event info, advanced discounts, etc. Test campaigns by using unique numbers to see which yields the best results.
The relationship between direct mail and email
There is no denying the effectiveness of email, but it's not always the best channel, especially when you want to achieve a higher response rate. Data shows that direct mail has a 13x higher response rate than email on its own. However, when combined, response rates reach 27%. This stat shows the power of an omnichannel strategy and how one channel can boost the effectiveness of another.
ThirdLove offers a prime example of how direct mail fits into a company's email strategy. The brand uses direct mail best practices to reach customers who have unsubscribed from its mailing list. The company's automated reactivation campaign uses personalized postcards based on a customer's prior purchase history. These campaigns yield some of the highest response rates.
Here are some examples:
If you plan to send a personalized mailer, use email to create anticipation and build hype.
For online retailers, direct mail and email are great ways to respond to cart abandonment. These leads nearly converted, so a follow-up mailer or email could help tip the scales. You could send an email first. You can target those who do not open the email with a personalized postcard, offering a coupon related to the abandoned products.
Recommended viewing: Hear more about the relationship between direct mail and email in your marketing mix on episode three of the Lobcast Podcast:
Using direct mail with social media
Social media is a great way to increase brand awareness, attract customers, and conduct market research. You can design and send personalized, targeted mailers based on your research. This example shows how crucial cohesive campaigns are and why you must break down silos — especially since social media and direct mail share similar copywriting and design rules. Learn more about direct mail best practices to design mail pieces that are sure to stand out.
Here are some examples:
Launch ads on Facebook or your platform of choice, encouraging prospects to visit a landing page. You can then offer an incentive in exchange for the visitor's physical address.
You could reverse the above idea, and send a piece of direct mail as part of an acquisition campaign and then trigger an ad on social media.
Use social media analytics to gain insight into your customers, which can be used in online and offline campaigns.
Ensure correct messaging for your direct mail campaigns by running ads on social media to see which ones perform best. This strategy can help you send relevant messages to the right consumer using direct mail automation.
The link between direct mail and web-based learning
Many brands are launching their own online academies, universities, or learning centers to keep customers engaged and loyal to the brand. But, not all customers complete what they started. Use direct mail to reach these customers at home and remind them to jump back into their current course.
Your mailer could even include a QR code that puts them back into the app or online course and you could remind them of where they left off and how much more they have to complete. Perhaps your mailer says something like, "Hey, John, you only have one lesson left to complete your module on Brand Topic. Have 20 minutes to complete it now?"
Lob powers the direct mail part of the direct + digital marketing equation
Eager to get started with direct mail? Lob is the only automation platform transforming direct mail into intelligent mail at scale. Request a demo to learn more, or contact Lob to discuss your unique marketing goals.
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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