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Marketing Mojo: Let Direct Mail Do the Work For You

Adapting Time-Saving Digital Marketing Strategies to Direct Mail
I won't say that I'm necessarily "cutting edge" when it comes to technology, but I'm certainly more comfortable with them than many people. I use Alexa to turn on all the lights in my apartment and tell me the weather, I do most of my billing, shopping and communication online, but I know that's not true of everyone. I write so few paper checks that I haven't had to reorder them in years. If I have an option for online payment, I'll take it. As someone who both champions print marketing over digital but uses technology for most of my day-to-day needs, it can seem like I'm a bit of a contradiction. But to me, there is a marked difference between process and outreach when it comes to branding and marketing. Process benefits greatly from technology - being able to quickly and easily view account information, order history and details conveniently without having to wait for something to be mailed to you is a huge benefit. Outreach is when a company goes out of its way to provide customers with something, whether that is information, promotion or engagement.  
Adapting Digital Technology to Print Outreach
One of the advantages of digital marketing for businesses is lead generation and customer lists with actionable data. Things like online newsletters, website traffic and social media interaction all allow for businesses to easily review and collect data that can be used to generate automated (or personal) responses. The downside of this is that if you reach too far, you risk compromising your brand's integrity - getting marked too many times as "spam" can mean future marketing emails get lost. To get the same results of actionable data with print marketing requires concentrated effort - you can't generate a report of how many people actually read the direct mail postcard that you sent out, so that you know who to send a response to. But there are ways and means to encourage engagement with direct mail and print that can help to offset some of the challenges that direct mail faces when it comes to automation and response.
  • Personalize it - Design software and technology have come a long way to making it possible for designers and marketing teams to create fantastic marketing pieces that are as personalized as possible with the data you have. Whether that's sending out an annual report to a financial client with all their facts and figures for the year, or a direct mail postcard to a prospect list in the right target audience for your product or service, using personalization can draw attention, increase interaction and build better brand loyalty.
  • Create a Call to Action - The biggest drawback of direct mail is being able to track response, but if you include a Call to Action that is effective, you can create that actionable data for following up and generating new business. It could be scanning a QR code, visiting a website, signing up for a newsletter or filling out a response card - as long as your Call to Action inspires people to engage.
  • Be Consistent with Follow Up - A lot of the success of direct mail relies on doing the legwork - both before and after a campaign. When you don't have that easily accessed response data, it's up to you to gather it. Whether you send a follow-up reminder as a separate mailing piece, or take the time to make the phone calls or send an email, following up on a marketing campaign can foster more communication, loyalty and help you build more accurate data for the future.
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