Which innovative techniques are results‑driven direct marketers using for optimum response in 2009?
Twitter and Facebook might make for captivating marketing headlines, but the same savvy chief marketing officers (CMOs) who are embracing social media are also quietly reinventing a less-buzzy marketing technique: direct mail.
As evidence of the crucial role targeted direct mail plays in the CMO's portfolio, consider this fact: Targeted-direct-mail volumes in the US have nearly doubled in the last decade.
Smart direct marketers are obtaining dramatic lift in results with "the new direct mail," which uses new relevance technologies to deliver digitally generated, one-to-one messages to prospects through the mail that link to a corresponding Web component. The new direct mail moves away from batch-blast campaigns—where every recipient gets the same mailer—and instead delivers customized, relevant offers to each customer, driven by customer relationship management (CRM) data systems.
Creating a relevant dialogue with digital direct mail works. Response rates for relevant mailers are typically two to four times higher than they are for nonrelevant mailers. And when customized direct mail is combined with interactive elements such as personal URLs (PURLs) that host relevant online variable video, triggered follow-up emails, and personalized outbound sales calls, response rates can climb to 10 times that of batch-blast mailers.
"The accelerating shift from 'mass' to 'targeted' direct-mail programs has been enabled by an increasingly powerful array of marketing automation technologies, many of which are making their way into the toolsets of marketers both large and small," according to a recent Winterberry Group report.
One of those technologies, the "marketing engine," allows marketers to create, manage, and customize direct-mail campaigns on a one-to-one basis. Deploying this type of one-to-one direct-mail nirvana is much less complicated, and less costly, than you think. Direct marketers already have all the data they need in their CRM and data-analytics systems to segment customers and deliver relevant messages that fit customers' preferences, but many have lacked an efficient way to leverage that data in practice.
Interested in how to leverage your CRM data and jump-start your direct-mail campaigns? Here are five simple steps to get you started.
Randy Spurrier is CEO of Nimblefish (www.nimblefish.com), provider of a leading marketing-engine platform.