We just finished a marketing campaign for one of our clients and the result was the lesson learned that even though we are marketing specialists, our client’s have valuable insight and experience that we should draw upon.
The campaign utilized the PURL (personal URL) technology, which allows the direct mail recipient to log on to their personalized micro-website (usually to register for a prize drawing), confirm contact information, answer a few questions and receive an automatically triggered email “thank you”. The sole purpose for PURL campaigns is to automatically gather data that can be used to more relevantly target recipients in the future.
For this campaign, the client insisted that the recipients also be permitted to respond via Business Reply Mail (BRM). We strongly advised against doing that for several reasons:
- The beauty of a personal URL campaign is the automated data collection incorporated into the campaign URL.
- BRM as a response vehicle is not new technology and combining it with a PURL, which is new technology, made no sense.
- Manual data entry would be required to enter the BRM response information into the data program.
- Increased postage costs due to the BRM.
The client informed us that he had run previous campaigns and always incorporated BRM because of the past response results he had received. So, we executed the campaign according to his direction and are now busily eating crow!
What we found was that there were almost equal response rates – 50% PURL and 50% BRM. We certain did not expect that result. We felt the PURL response rate would have been significantly higher that what the BRM would drive. So, not only is direct mail alive and well, but the use of Business Reply Mail should also be considered for any marketing campaign you are planning.
We preach that a multi-channel campaign is always more effective than a single channel campaign because people prefer to be contacted in a variety of ways. The success of the BRM also shows that recipients want to RESPOND in a variety of ways. So, give them as many choices as possible – email, PURL, BRM, telephone and so on. Don’t limit your thinking and don’t limit your channels for marketing touch OR marketing response.
Yesterday, we had a seminar for a group of clients on the topic of Integrated Strategic Marketing. Our discussion was focused on the different marketing channels available to companies, how the channels function and the pros and cons of each. It really struck me how far marketers have drifted from the use of direct mail in their marketing toolbox.
Data supports direct mail as one of the most effective methods for new customer acquisition – and, yet, our mailboxes are slim. The CMO Council has declared 2011 as The Year of Print, yet companies are still focused on the “free” new media – social media, email, texting, blogs, etc. We have become siloed in our marketing “think”.
Several years ago, organizations discovered that there was a real need to merge the sales department and the marketing department. Those two departments had operated independently of each other to the companies’ detriment. Wise leaders realized that for the most effective results, sales and marketing needed to have a continuous flow of information and resources to and from each other.
Hopefully, those same wise leaders will realize that in the world of marketing, a siloed strategy is not a good strategy. There is a place for the use of many different channels in your marketing plan. Over the next few blogs, I’d like to throw out some information on each of the marketing channels that we use on a regular basis and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Today, I’ll blog a little on the email channel. Email is a fabulous tool for client retention and for communicating with your existing clients. It is not the most effective channel for new customer acquisition. Research shows that currently 80% of all email sent is classified as spam. Today, organizations have very sophisticated spam filters which keep unwanted and unrequested emails out of their employees’ inboxes.
Add to that the fact that email requires 100% address accuracy. One typo and your email will not get to its intended target. People and organizations also change their email addresses periodically. Even if your email manages to wiggle through the spam filters, people are quick to hit the delete button if your email is not relevant or important at that specific moment.
Consider combining email with direct mail and your website via a personal URL campaign. It’s a great way to gather permission-based email addresses and just one part of a multi-channel campaign. Multi-channel campaigns are more successful than single-channel campaigns, as you are touching your client or prospect in a variety of ways and allowing them to respond to the channel they most prefer.
It’s not about ink on paper, it’s not about ecampaigns and it’s not about your website. It is about communicating with your targets in a consistent way through a variety of marketing channels to drive revenue! Just another “idea in motion” from Multi-Craft!