There has been a lot of speculation lately about which form of marketing is most effective. For years, some have been championing e-mail marketing as the new frontier of marketing to consumers. While it does have its advantages- low initial cost, ability to instantly respond, ability to track opens, responses and more- it also has an abysmally low response ratio. While it may be cheap and quick to send 40,000 people an e-mail from a list, only a couple hundred may ever see it due to spam filters, and even fewer will open or read the e-mail once they realize it’s spam.
Direct mail marketing is often seen as outdated or old technology in comparison to e-mail marketing. Ironically, this flood of businesses to e-mail and online marketing has made direct mail an even better investment. With everyone trying out e-mail marketing, there are fewer direct mailers in consumer’s mailboxes every day. The historically higher ROI of a direct mail campaign is even higher now that much of the competition has left.
So what is the best method of marketing today?
Old Marketing Techniques Meet New Technology
The best way to maximize your ROI on a marketing campaign is neither one nor the other, but a blend of new technologies and old techniques. Direct mail marketing, similar to e-mail marketing, often uses a “big net” strategy: cast a bigger net and catch more fish, or in this instance, send ads to a huge pool and hope a lot of people respond. While this has worked fine for many people, you can get a much higher ROI by using direct mail and online marketing simultaneously.
One way to do this is with an engaging personalized marketing campaign. Using variable data printing you can print an entire campaign with different messages, headings, and even pictures to a large group of people. Coupled with internet market research techniques, you can tailor your message to directly target each group, demographic or even each individual person. The ROI of variable data printing campaigns have historically been high (an average of double with a simple variation or 10-15 times the return with a fully variable campaign) , but you can take this personalization a step or two further to really get every cents worth out of your advertising budget.
Get the Most From your Advertising Budget
You can maximize the efficiency of your direct mail campaign by utilizing PURLs, QR codes and more. By adding a link to a personalized website, you can engage possible customers online as well as better track your response rate. You can use the latest web-to-print techniques as well as print-to-web, such as having website visitors sign up for an informational guide or free booklet related to your business or run a periodically released print newsletter.
Printed newsletters can help build relationships with customers and help connect online and offline branding of your company. Building relationships with customers is crucial in converting prospective customers into repeating customers.
Coupling a variable data printing campaign with online technology is the best way to truly get the most out of your advertising budget. By adding a PURL or QR code or incorporating internet market research you can hone a traditionally “big net” method of advertising down to more a focused approach, directly targeting the “fish” most likely to actually bite. You can track responses, opens, and visitors to your site to see exactly where in your offering you are (or aren’t) making the sale and adjust accordingly to see real results and increased sales.
If you would like to learn more about Variable Data Printing, PURL campaigns or how this technology can help your business, call Brooks Litho today.