Combining direct mail and email in multichannel marketing is a powerful strategy to boost response rates.Informally, the old one-two punch refers to “an especially forceful or effective combination or sequence of two things.” In direct marketing the two-channel combo of direct mail and email packs a powerful one-two punch in getting the message out and bringing response in. Here’s why…

Email Can Prime the Direct Mail Pump

Before sending a direct mail package, shoot out an email to let the recipients know something is coming in the mail for them and ask them to look out for it. This can build suspense and maximize interest – i.e. “Look for your official invitation in the mail” or “A free sample is coming your way by mail.” Then send a follow up email asking if they received the package and letting them know what action they should take next.

Direct Mail Can Soften the Email Sell

After putting your information directly into the hands of prospects via direct mail, follow up with a harder email sell. Email presents the opportunity to place call-to-action buttons (“Order Now!”) with links to inquiry forms or e-commerce shopping pages. Based on brand recognition achieved in print, your audience is more likely to open the message and potentially click through and convert.

Multichannel Marketing Reinforces Your Brand

To gain brand recognition among your audience, it helps to show them your message through multiple channels. Direct mail, in concert with email, presents the brand in both tangible print and digital screen forms. This dual presentation strengthens impact, and therefore brand recall. Many fundraisers do a fantastic job of this through action alert email messages backed by periodic mass donor drive mail campaigns.

The Right Direct Mail/Email Mix

There is much debate on the number of marketing impressions that consumers must be exposed to before they take action. No matter the exact number, frequency is key. Higher levels of frequency can be achieved by deploying a well-timed mix of direct mail and email. By presenting brand images and branded content on both channels, multiple impressions can usher a prospect through the different states of curiosity, recognition, interest, and decision.

By nearly all accounts, response rates increase when email marketing is added to a direct mail campaign and vice versa. Armed with both email and postal data, you have so much more opportunity to develop knockout creativity.