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Direct Mail
June 29, 2023

The Power of Direct Mail With Traditional Marketing Channels

by 
Stephanie Donelson

Marketing doesn't exist in a silo. We can't rely on just one channel to reach our target audience. 

Each marketing channel has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and our customers and prospects all have their own preferences when it comes to how they want to be reached with marketing messages. That’s why it’s so important to have a mix of channels to meet your customers where they are.

Recommended: Find out what consumers care about when it comes to direct mail with our 2023 State of Direct Mail Consumer Insights

While many of us automatically think of today’s digital marketing channels to reach our target audiences, we should take a pause and think old-school for a minute. Traditional marketing channels are still valuable in driving brand awareness, engagement, and conversions.

While direct mail offers a personalized experience that’s tangible and captures people’s attention, traditional marketing channels bring big audiences and credibility to the table. 

In this blog, we’re sharing a few strategies for pairing direct mail with more classic marketing channels to maximize your impact and drive results.

What channels to pair with direct mail

Direct mail + print

Both of these paper-based channels are valuable marketing opportunities. We already mentioned direct mail as ways to send personalized messages, but print media offers an established and engaged readership you can reach with your messages.

To pair the channels, you might consider running an ad in a newspaper or trade magazine that directs readers to a specific landing page on your website with the right tracking pixel in place. You can then use a list management service, like Lob Audience, to match those anonymous website visitors with physical addresses and send them a follow-up postcard to re-engage them. 

Direct mail + radio or podcasts

Auditory mediums, such as radio or podcasts, aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. While radio allows you to reach an audience in a specific geographic area, podcasts help you tailor your content based on other data sets, such as other demographic factors or specific interests.

To pair the channels, determine your targeting. If you're advertising something like a new store opening you might use a radio ad to let people know about it and then hit that same geographic area with a postcard with a personalized map and offer. If you run your ad on a podcast, you could copy the plan from partnering direct mail with print and retarget those podcast listeners after they visit your website. 

Direct mail + TV

TV has a wide reach and can be a great channel if you want to reach a much larger audience with your marketing message. You don't have to stick to traditional cable either, adapt with the times and think about online TV, such as YouTube.

To pair the channels, you'll most likely follow the same idea as partnering with radio. Understanding the region your TV ad was shown in and targeting that same area with direct mail.

Direct mail + public relations

Public relations (PR), can help your brand secure media coverage and reach new audiences and get clicks back to your own website. Like TV getting a new face, you might consider how you can use direct mail with influencers as they could have an established community of prospects you want to reach.

A different way to use direct mail in PR is to flip the script and send targeted mailers to journalists or influencers offering them an exclusive story or partnership. 

Pairing the channels can follow the same principle as print, by sending people to a page with a pixel enabled, or radio by figuring out what geographic area to target based on the publication your PR piece was placed in.

Direct mail + Out-of-Home

OOH (Out-of-Home) advertising, such as billboard advertising, hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact, OOH advertising has high visibility and offers local targeting for your marketing campaigns. You can use direct mail as a follow-up to an OOH campaign and giving the target demographic time to see the billboard before delivering the same message right in their mailbox.

Like radio, you can use your geographic data to your advantage and send your direct mail campaign to households within a certain radius of your billboard. 

Recommended on-demand webinar: Breakthrough Strategies for Improving Direct Mail and Out-of-Home ROI

Direct mail + event marketing

Conferences, tradeshows, and events are making a comeback after having to take a hiatus for a bit. People are eager to hit the road and continue learning and networking. Leverage your event marketing opportunities to collect people's address information and follow up via direct mail instead of in their soon-to-be-crowded inbox.

Another way to think about this one is sponsoring webinars hosted by industry associations or publications where you'll get access to the list of attendees and can then match those attendees with physical addresses to add a piece of direct mail to your outreach plan.

Tips for adding direct mail into your marketing campaigns

Direct mail can seamlessly integrate with digital or other offline forms of marketing. Let's review some best practices for adding a direct mail component to your plans.

Determine your target audience

Define your target audience and what data points you'll use to find them. Are you using interests, shopping behaviors, or simply geographic data to target these audiences?

Timelines

We all know that marketing needs to be integrated and coordinated in order to be effective. Coordinate timing of all your messages as you wouldn’t want your direct mail campaign hitting people’s mailboxes before your billboard ad is running, especially if you reference your billboard ad in your creative. 

Figure out if your direct mail campaign is designed to do the targeting up front or if it’s meant to act as a follow-up or retarget audiences that have indicated some interest in your brand, product, or service. 

Ensure consistent messaging and branding

We have brand colors and logos for a reason: recognition. Your direct mail asset needs to have the same messaging, visuals, and CTA as the other pieces of content in the campaign to better reinforce the key message as well as increase brand recognition.

Cross-promote your channels

Feature your social media icons and usernames and branded hashtags on direct mail assets to encourage recipients to follow your other marketing channels. 

You could also use this tactic to grow your email marketing list by sending out a promo code via direct mail and then offering an additional 10% off if they sign up for your email list when they land on your site. On the flip side of this one, offer an option for those unsubscribing from emails to enroll in a direct mail nurture program. 

Recommended reading: Discover how thredUP increased ROI by sending direct mail to email unsubscribers

Measure and attribute

Set yourself up for success by having a tracking plan in place. Will you use unique URLs, promo codes, phone numbers, or another type of tracking method? Then, analyze the results to see how pairing these channels impacted campaign performance, and which pairs performed well and which ones might need some optimization.

By combining the unique strengths of direct mail with traditional marketing channels, marketers can create powerful, integrated campaigns that reach and engage audiences on multiple fronts. The tangible nature of direct mail, when paired with the wide reach and credibility of traditional channels, amplifies brand messaging, increases brand recall, and drives customer engagement. 

Timeless tactics

Some marketing tactics are simply timeless and adapt to our ever-changing technology. Direct mail is just one of them. Check out our Lobcast Podcast episode on how to leverage these timeless tactics in your next marketing campaign.

Listen to the episode!