I would like to visit two well established touchpoints – direct mail and email – that can now use a digital connection and a new technique called an iMailer to make it easier for customers to engage. An iMailer is an interactive, digital catalog containing personalized offers and products with embedded paths to purchase online. In our new age of brand personalization this technique begins with personalized direct mail and email that rests on a solid data foundation.
You may have seen one of these in your mailbox already, but the next step in this “connect the dots” process is to put a QR code in the direct mail that takes the recipient, by means of their smartphone, to an iMailer. It is the same connection in email. You receive a personalized email with a link that takes you to your iMailer. Once you snap the QR code, or click the email link and land there, your iMailer greets you personally and takes you through an interactive, personalized offering and the means to purchase the offering and become a customer.
The direct mail/email to iMailer experience just makes it easier for your prospect to get to what they want to examine and purchase. Instead of searching, or visiting the site, or even better than a landing page, the iMailer is a seamless, relevant, personalized experience. Having experienced an iMailer I would push to test them into replacing landing pages.
“Everything old is new again” is a saying that can apply to direct mail – because the channel is enjoying a renaissance, especially with the inclusion of QR codes to drive online engagement. In this new age of digital clutter, Marketing Sherpa research shows that 76% of consumers trust Direct Mail more than Digital advertising channels. USPS in The Mail Moment found that 98% of consumers bring their mail in the day it is delivered. Mail Print found that 85% of consumers sort through and read selected pieces of mail every day. Given digital clutter and this physical, old fashioned presence the direct mail channel has become viable and competitive in the touchpoint stack.
Direct Mail has been pulled into the Martech realm using data and technology to make it more personalized and effective. One good place to learn about this is to visit www.kleermail.com which leverages proprietary marketing automation technology and analytics to easily create and version Direct Mail communications and iMailers at scale. For more variations on this theme you can also visit Stackmarket’s email marketing directory here. This leads to the delivery of more personalized offers and content to customers and prospects. Integrations with marketing technology infrastructure and data sources allow Performance Marketing teams to create, trigger and distribute a variety of content based on customer behavior and attributes in real time and integrate these touchpoints with other marketing channels for improved results.
My recommendation is to learn this new iMailer space and test, test, test. The results I’ve seen so far show greatly increased response and engagement from these connected touchpoints: direct mail/email to the iMailer.
Please stay tuned for my next article on this subject when we will look in detail at a specific case. In the meantime, if you are not using direct mail, consider testing it. If you are using direct mail, please compare the CLV results of those customers to customers acquired at other touchpoints. You will likely increase the direct mail budget based on what you see.
George Wiedemann was founder and CEO of Grey Direct for 21 consecutive years of worldwide growth; CEO of pioneer Silicon Valley email platform Responsys; and CEO of The DRUM Agency. He is founder and CEO of Relationshipping Consulting, focusing on bringing efficiencies to large-scale enterprises through deep budgetary analysis and process alignment. George is also a frequent contributor to TheCustomer.