Much has been said about “email vs. direct mail,” but you don’t hear that many people talking about combining email and direct mail for recipients in your B2B contact list. Are these two marketing channels really that mutually exclusive? Wrong. In reality, these two methods work well together if properly integrated in a unified campaign, enhancing each other’s effectiveness.
There are many factors that influence the success of integrating email and direct mail into a single campaign. You have to carefully think about and consistently apply branding, content, timing, and other elements of the project. This post looks at managing your mailing list to accommodate the demands of the multichannel campaign. The list is just as vital as any other component of the integrated project and should be thoroughly prepared and maintained.
Here are a few tips on building and managing your multi-channel B2B mailing list for the direct mail-email tandem:
1. Use lists with postal & email info.
As trivial as this tip may appear, you’d be surprised at how easily these essential contact database attributes get overlooked. If you’re looking to purchase lists as part of your contact acquisition strategy, then make sure that you’re dealing with a complete mailing list provider that sells mailing databases with both postal and email details for each record.
2. Compile cross-channel lists.
If you presently work with separate lists for emailing and direct mailing activities, then you should consolidate these into a single multichannel database to make list management more convenient, effective, and relevant to the project. This allows you to segment, update, and clean up your campaign database more quickly as well as monitor progress accurately.
3. Consider email append.
Doing an email append allows you to expand the usability of an existing contact list by adding or “appending” more fields/attributes related to the contacts on the current list. Good list vendors generally offer email append as a part of their portfolio of list management services. A quarterly email append is highly recommended for your B2B lists.
4. Segment as usual.
Once you have compiled your unified multichannel contact lists, you can resume applying your usual segmentation tactics. The main idea here is to always keep in mind that you’re now dealing with an integrated campaign and thus avoid treating the direct mail and email aspects of the project in isolation. As such, your segmentation methods shouldn’t depend on the medium you use but on how you intend to use the medium.
5. Identify the optimal mix.
Although this doesn’t directly involve your contact list per se, you need to determine the ratio of emails to direct emails and the sending schedule beforehand. This enables you to plan ahead for scheduled list maintenance and cleanup tasks as well as segmentation and content mapping.
Now that you’ve been introduced to a few basic pointers on list management for direct mail and email team-ups, it’s time for you to put it into action with your campaign plan. Remember, there are a lot of considerations you need to make when integrating various marketing channels. Although email and direct mail are identical in some ways, each does have its own set of strengths and weaknesses you need to address.