Creating a Flawless Flow from Direct Mail to Email


Many email icons landing in an open palm. Or rising up from the hand into a receptive cloud computing symbol. Business metaphor for online correspondence and mobile computing. Steel blue background.

In recent months and years, direct mail has been making a quiet comeback. Consumer behavior is one reason because, as email marketing has become more prevalent, customers actually enjoy physical mail arriving at their homes.

Many businesses engage in both types of marketing, but few get it totally right. DM and email campaigns should work together to create a seamless flow of people and information between the two. Run isolated campaigns in either and you could end up creating dead ends, where potential customers wander in the wilderness, never quite making it to your door.

Ideally, you want your DM customers and your email customers to mesh. Truly effective direct mail creates a solid foundation on which you can build more social marketing.

But how do you get the two to meet? Here are a couple of ideas:

#1: Adjust Your Segmentation

Segmenting your direct mail customers is as effective as doing it with your email customers. One way to do this is through customer behavior:

  • Purchase behavior
  • Response to offers
  • Email Clicks or opens
  • Phone contacts

As an example, suppose a potential customer phones after receiving an offer via direct mail. While they’re talking to a person regarding the offer is the ideal chance to ask for their email address. They won’t object if it’s to keep in touch about the service they’re buying or send confirmation following a booking.

Once you have their email address and permission to contact them, they can be moved into a different segment and you can contact them again, via email, about related offers.

#2: Invite Web Contact via Direct Mail

Special online offers are a popular way of driving traffic to a site and capturing email addresses. In this way, direct mail is an effective way of getting new site visitors who may well become paying customers. Easy ways to tempt people to your website via direct mail include:

  1. QR Codes – those squiggly black boxes made up of lots of dots can be scanned and decoded by a smartphone. The information contained in the code then prompts further action, such as opening up the URL. QR codes also allow tracking, so you can monitor response and use this information to further segment, or enhance, future advertising campaigns.
  1. PURL – or Personalized URLs are powerful incentives in direct mail. They invite individuals to visit webpages that are personalized to them by name (or any other personalization feature you like but names are the strongest). Once on the page, everything else is personalized to them too, creating a very specialized user experience. PURLS are a great way of tracking customer behavior and gauging response rates to direct mail.

Achieving a back and forth momentum between email and direct mail is good for your customer, and good for you. Your customer gets more interesting and diverse communications from you, and you get multiple ways to monitor and hone your campaigns.

Direct Mail Best Practices