There is an important role for direct mail to play in your inbound marketing strategy. We already know that direct mail drives a response rate 10 to 30 times higher than email. It’s just a matter of devising a campaign strategy that effectively incorporates direct mail tactics into your overall inbound funnel.
Remember, the methodology of inbound marketing is to use targeted content to attract qualified visitors to your website, capture their information and nurture them through the sales funnel until they’re ready to buy. So how does direct mail fit into this decidedly digital strategy?
The first step to is to consider your campaign objectives and adjust your tactics accordingly. Too often direct mail is segregated and treated as an independent strategy, when in reality it’s no different than any other inbound tactic—one piece of a larger overarching strategy. You don’t have to land the final sell in one fell swoop; you just have to convince prospects to take the next step.
Use Direct Mail to Get Email Addresses
Since direct mail is better at generating response than email, give it the place email would normally take at the beginning of your sales funnel. When reaching out to a cold prospect, send them a postcard introducing your company and offering some kind of useful free download or discount they can claim by visiting a targeted landing page on your website.
Pro tip: Keep it simple. One of the most common mistakes people make with direct mail is trying to accomplish too much in one mailer. You don’t want to muddle your message by including any other CTAs. Even something as seemingly innocuous as “Visit our Facebook page!” can distract from the action you really want them to take.
Once you’ve used direct mail to secure an email address, you can proceed to the next step of the sales cycle with an email follow-up. Email may generate lower response rates, but it is still one of the best ways to nurture a lead.
Use Direct Mail to Target Specific Demographics
You may choose not to use direct mail in every inbound campaign. Like any other tactic, it has its time and place. It is a particularly effective tactic when you want to target audiences based on geo-location or other demographics such as household income, age, or marital status. Direct mail campaigns can achieve a greater level of demographic specificity than it’s possible to reach online, where anyone can discover your content whether they fit your target persona or not.
Use Direct Mail to Supplement Digital Messages
Direct mail is also an effective way to supplement ongoing inbound strategy. Are you promoting an upcoming event or time-sensitive offer on your website and through your email list? Support your efforts with one or two postcards that direct people to your registration page.
The reality of today’s online marketplace is that almost no purchases are made entirely offline anymore. Even in-store purchases are often heavily researched online to measure a product against its competitors and see how it fares in customer reviews.
Direct mail can be an effective way to get the momentum moving on your inbound strategy. Use direct mail to target prospects offline, lead them online, and then deposit them into the tide of your inbound flow and let your content marketing strategy do the rest.