Harnessing Online Data to Drive Your Offline Direct Mail Campaigns

28 April 2020 / By Mike Gunderson
Harnessing Online Data to Drive Your Offline Direct Mail Campaigns on gundersondirect.com
Reading time: 4 minutes

Although direct mail marketing happens offline, you can integrate online data and technologies to make it as targeted and personal as any digital marketing.

The success of your marketing depends on how well you can integrate multiple channels. A single shopping channel doesn’t bind today’s consumer, and most will buy both online and offline. Consequently, your advertising efforts should spill over and connect with each other to provide a better experience and more effectively drive conversions.

This integration is an example of omnichannel marketing, where your marketing techniques work together to create a seamless shopping experience for the customer.

Direct mail and online technologies fit together when we use one marketing method to follow-up on a prospect gained through the other medium. By using data collected in your online store to add prospects to your direct mailing list and build out data to their profiles, you increase your odds of making the sale or other conversion the mailpiece is designed to trigger. Then, by adding email sign-ups and website integration to the mailer, your direct mail drives customers back to the website to make a purchase.

If you’re able to use these techniques together, you can make the most of your marketing ventures.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Send direct mail to online prospects

When operating an e-commerce website, you’ll frequently see customers put items in their virtual shopping carts and forget about them. A common marketing technique for these businesses is to send an email reminder that the customer left an item in their cart but sending a triggered postcard might be a better option.

In short, a triggered postcard is a dynamic piece of direct mail that includes items the consumer recently browsed, searched for, or carted. This technique is useful because it acts as a quick reminder for the user that goes beyond an email.

Potential customers who browse your website are also excellent targets for your regular mailings. Who better to present with an offer than a consumer who recently showed interest in your products or services?

In both scenarios, you need to gather data from consumers who visit your website to present them with further offers.

2. Link mailing addresses with email addresses

As part of your omnichannel marketing plan, you should be creating customer profiles that include physical mailing addresses and email addresses. In doing so, you can present users with offers through various channels at once.

The great thing about collecting email addresses is that they are valuable beyond allowing you to send marketing messages. Most consumers also use their email addresses to sign up for social media and other accounts, so you can reach them through those websites, too.

Even if you only use their email addresses and social media accounts for reinforcing your direct mail campaign, such as a reminder that your next catalog is in the mail, it provides a benefit.

3. Include a custom URL in your direct mail material

Another way to integrate direct mail and online marketing is by using your material to direct customers to custom URLs on your website.

The benefit of a custom URL is that it allows you to track who is actually considering your direct mail offers, as you’ll see which users have accessed your website.

The URL then redirects your audience to a particular page on your website, be it an offer code, a landing page, or your homepage, where the user can make a purchase or continue through the sales funnel.

You can also use the custom URL to mine additional data from customers by asking them for their email address and relevant demographic information before they can access the offer.

4. Utilize voice-activated technology

One of the newer methods of integrating online technology into your direct mail is by leveraging voice technology. Respond Fast, the company pioneered the Voice Activated Call to Action (VACTA), makes it easy to integrate voice into your direct mail creative.

The gist of this method is that you can send direct mail that the consumer can access through a smart speaker (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant), allowing you to collect additional data for your marketing list or present an immediate offer to your prospect.

Once the customer accesses a direct mail offer via the smart speaker, the service provider sends a link to the individual’s smartphone with further information. That way, the customer could end up browsing your website, which is an incredibly efficient and noninvasive way to push a prospect to the next stage in your funnel.

5. Create a multichannel marketing experience

No matter the goal of your direct mail marketing campaign, it can work together with technology to create an omnichannel experience for your customers. The more you’re able to integrate the various forms of advertising into your campaign, the more success you’ll find your marketing to be. It also provides consumers with multiple ways to buy.

You can use technology to either collect more data for your next mailing or as a funnel to take direct mail readers to the subsequent stage in the sales process. The choice is up to you and how you want to use the marketing tools you have at your disposal. Gunderson Direct has over 16 years of experience in the direct mail industry and can assist you in putting together a campaign. We know that effective direct mail relies on reliable data, so we’ll work with you to ensure that your message is getting to the right people. Visit our contact page to learn more or to get started!

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About The Author

Mike Gunderson

Mike Gunderson is the founder of Gunderson Direct, Inc., a direct marketing agency that helps businesses drive new leads and close more sales through traditional offline channels, especially direct mail.

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