Tag Archives: Email Marketing

How to drive your customer relationships using mail and email

Last year I wrote about the impact of digital on mail and email.multi channel services

Whilst there maybe a genuine perception that print is on the decline the Royal Mail report found otherwise.

Print and email working in collaboration and using cross media marketing, (also referred to as multi channel marketing) works very effectively.

I am often asked for advice on how to go about adopting a multi channel marketing strategy.

Why I will not profess to being a marketing expert my knowledge of print combined with personalisation and social media gives me the objectivity to look at a marketing campaign and help define it for the customer.

I thought I would share with you a recent marketing/print campaign Digital Print Management fulfilled for one of its customers.

stay on targetThe starting point has to be what do you hope to get out of it?

By this, I mean not ‘more business’ or more customers, we all want that but what objectives do you want to get out of your campaign?

Being able to interact with your customers and prospects through multi channel marketing is necessary for companies to get their message out

Here’s an example of a cross media campaign using mail and email ?iStock_000026350319Small

Generating interest with print by using an interesting and engaging format so that when it lands on the doormat the consumer is highly likely to read and do something with it or take action.

A car dealership has a target list of 3,750 customers whom they would like to get in contact with and who haven’t visited their dealership in the last 18 months.

The key objective of marketing to these people is to motivate customers to come back to the dealership by scheduling a routine service and by offering a free oil change and a 15% discount off the standard service.

  • The dealership sends out personalised postcards with PURLs – the postcards and emails are uniquely personalised and individualised according to each customer’s past purchasing history
  • The customers receive the postcards and some do respond to the PURL – the invitation to visit the PURL is a way of inviting the customer to redeem coupons that they can then use at the dealership against a service/oil change
  • The inclusion of a PURL ensures that all the responses and updates are captured and the customer data list is updated
  • The response actions that are captured from the PURL trigger a personalised email which is sent to those respondents who didn’t respond inviting them to click onto the same PURL
  • A follow up email is then scheduled to go out to those who didn’t take up the offer in 5 days

Stacked MailThis is the customer decision stage by sending the prospects a mail piece that communicates a clear and persuasive benefit with a link to your website is more likely to encourage engagement.

When customers respond using the PURL they arrive at a personalised landing page which has their name and address details.

They are asked to confirm or update their details and then request to enter a code which is printed on the email or postcard so they can redeem their coupons.

Once the purchase is made, in this instance the redeeming of coupons an email is generated welcoming them back to the dealership; a welcome pack which is highly personalised is then sent out to them.

Whilst they are redeeming their coupons there are a whole host of other coupons that they can also redeem in exchange for more information about the condition of the car, how old it is, when was the last time they had it serviced, what time of day do they prefer to schedule a service, do they own more than one car from the same manufacturer.

Each coupon they click on encourages the customer to give more information which can later be used for future campaigns.

Where do I start?

Identify your marketing objective? In the above example it was to get in contact with former customers of the car dealership.

Do you have accurate data? In this example the dealership had a defined customer contact base of 3,750 former customers.

What technology or platform are you using? Can you manage this in-house if so how will it be managed and do you have the technology/software and resources to ensure it’s monitored through to completion.


Outsource it to a cross media specialist  who can work with you and design the campaign to meet your objectives.

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success a

To ensure successful results there must be a planning process – who is your target audience, which media channels are right, what offer(s) and how then are the responses going to be captured and used.

Keeping the offer relevant and personalised to the customer should yield positive results.

Before managing a large campaign plan a test run with different offers, this will hi-light what works and what doesn’t, the campaign can then be upgraded to include your target audience, whatever the size.

A follow up plan is crucial to keep the momentum going and in this instance the follow up process which included an email could also include a postcard was used where people hadn’t responded in 5 days.

All actions and responses were measured when the customer clicked through to the PURLs.

The highly targeted and personalised win back stage is useful where customers have parted with information but have chosen not to redeem vouchers, sending a follow up mail piece is a useful way of staying in touch with those prospects that didn’t redeem their coupons.

How to avoid the pitfalls

  1. Be selective when it comes to the channels you intend to communicate your offer, too much and it becomes another sales blast.
  2. Whilst I’m a big advocate of personalisation, too much of ‘Hi Caroline, Caroline it’s been 18 months since, Caroline we think you might like this’ and so on then becomes a pain and is immediately off putting.
  3. Make the offer relevant and meaningful
  4. No campaign will be 100% successful first time out. Be prepared to modify, adapt and test the offer
  5. Keep any content either in print or digital relevant to the offer and to your audience

Some things to think about?

Sending paper bills or statements encourages retention and faster payment by using the white space on a paper bill or electronic statement to promote any services and offers you are promoting.

Renewal – as renewal time approaches send your customers a personalised mail piece that reminds them of the benefits they will receive as well as the future benefits they will be able to access after they have renewed with your.

Following up with an email is a great way to get them to make a decision but also makes them feel valued.

You can also find more information here 


The impact of digital on mail and email

Those of you who have been kind enough to show up regularly know iStock_000026350319Smallthat I have each foot in the digital and print camp.

Digital media has had a huge impact on our lives making content accessible anytime, anywhere day or night.

And yet print is still holding it’s own.

Marketing departments are realising that print and digital work in harmony to ensure audiences are targeted with their brand messages.

Consumers like to receive email and mail each have different qualities and as audiences move between online and offline, mail and email help drive the consumer toward purchasing.

In 2007 the Royal Mail commissioned some research which showed that having 1 to 1 conversations with your customer required both mail and email and should be used in conjunction with each other.

Smartphones and tablets have made us truly mobile so obtaining information on the go is easier, it also means that marketers can deliver their brand message into our inbox when we are mobile.

In a recent report conducted by the Royal Mail, a survey showed that whilst email is on the decline it still works effectively with print marketing.

I’ve taken the most relevant information from the report and created an infographic and included it in this post. It makes interesting reading.

You might think that after reading this post and viewing the infograhic below that we are more digital than mail.

But, mail is redefining and aligning itself alongside emails and the physical channels such as direct mail, leaflet drops and physical advertising are holding their own.

In my follow up post I’ll go over why print and email work well when you employ an effective multi-channel marketing strategy.

See what you think.




How to make your message stand out with cross media marketing?

content marketing and cross media

Who is your audience? Where can you find them? What do they want?

So far I’ve sang from the tree tops about the merits of good content, why personalisation is so important and how print fits into the cross media marketing mix.

But what I haven’t shared with you is how do you make sure your content is read?

I should make one thing absolutely clear, this is not a lesson in how to write great content for the internet, this is about how you get your marketing message to stand out from the crowd.

Cross media marketing combines highly personalised targeted messages across the various types of media to seek interaction and engagement with your niche audience.

Cross media marketing is a specific, targeted and measurable marketing strategy designed to deliver consistent, persuasive and actionable messages to your target customers using a variety of social channels over a period of time that engage and reinforce your company and brand.

But it is becoming increasingly difficult to be heard by your prospect let alone engage when the sheer volume of noise from the various social channels is densely populated with mass messages.

Businesses are further hindered by the number of social media channels to use, which one, or combination of platforms are likely to give the best yield of leads or conversions.

Smaller budgets in the current economic climate with which to carry out marketing are limited.

A successful content marketing campaign combining cross media marketing that delivers content and a call to action throughout the channels simultaneously as an integrated campaign.

Brand awareness is 44% print and 37% online media therefore the importance of your brand consistency is essential and it’s not just about making sure the logo is the same across all media.

What do I need to do?

Cross media marketing and print

Cross media marketing what is it and where does it fit in with social media and print?

1. Ensure your brand is coherent across all platforms including print, website, social media. Does it convey your message, your brand and does it represent what the company, service, product stand for?

By developing a consistent brand that delivers meaningful communication your brand effectively demonstrates a strong, authoritative company that knows what they are talking about and in turn this generates trust in your business.

Branding also gives you and your company an identity and personality so that your audience become familiar with you and what you do.

Ensuring you order marketing collateral from the same supplier will guarantee consistency of your brand in the way it looks, the feel and the overall quality.

Cross media marketing focusses on the audience and not the product or service, it is customer-centric and not product-centric therefore delivery of any content or message has to start with a deep understanding of your customer’s objectives and background.

2. Successful marketing messages start with a plan. By developing a well co-ordinated message, ensuring your customer database is accurate and up to date with names and addresses is key to developing the strategy and the content that will unveil itself across all the social media channels.

cross media marketing

A cross media campaign needs to start with a plan. Who is it for, what does the message convey? What is our goal?

3. Use the information you’ve captured about your prospect, you need to understand your audience and be able to identify which platforms they engage on the most. There’s no point sending SMS or using social media if your audience is 75+ and is more likely to be responsive to a direct mail piece. In the same way delivering a message via social media to an audience who are between 18-25 years is likely to be highly effective but it depends on the message and what you are targeting.

It would be like me sending a mass message about auto-enrolment and payroll to debt collection managers, wrong audience, wrong message.

4. Understanding your audience is paramount in developing engagement. Once that’s been done then personalising the content that takes into account all the information will make the prospect more compelled to read.

Each media platform delivers content differently therefore generating a different response. Printed media provides a physical piece of advertising that the customer can read and physically engage with if this is incorporated with an email campaign it creates a better response rate than email marketing on its own.

Knowing your audience can then guide you as to the type of message you want to deliver and what the call to action will be. As I said earlier consistency and continuity are key, use the same colours, logos, images so subliminally the audience start to associate the colours, or the look with your brand. It does work otherwise marketers wouldn’t do it, the constant reinforcing of the message ensures your audience remembers that message and when the time is right it invokes in us the desire to buy from that brand or company.

Personalising the content on the direct mail piece with a PURL moves the customer to a landing page that is completely relevant to him, by asking him for more information thus making future messages more targeted to suit him.

5. Send a follow up email using the information they supplied on the landing page and provide an offer or incentive to jump to the next stage.

6. Send an automated follow up email to those that haven’t responded to either the direct mail or your email making sure there is a PURL to encourage them to go to their personalised landing page.

7. In each of the steps integrate your social share buttons – facebook, Pinterest, twitter and include it on the printed mail piece, showing how and where your company or brand can be found.

8. Finally don’t forget to measure it. Look at your response rates, open rates on email and compile a simple spreadsheet so you can see who viewed what message and on what platform.

9. Start with a two channel campaign such as a printed direct mail piece with a PURL directing them to a landing page and link to facebook then add a third channel and so forth.

10. Remember the key is knowing your audience and making sure you deliver the right content there is no point in sending an email message to a 45 year old mother of 4 directing her to a 2 seater sports car landing page. She may well desire that very car but she’s practical and needs a vehicle that can carry 4 kids therefore the email message is unlikely to light her fire.

11. What makes content and cross media campaigns so useful is the way in which they can interact with each other thus increasing the likelihood of engagement = leads = customers.

Your message should drive your niche audience to do one action only – visit a landing page, register for an event, follow on a social media channel. Give them or ask them to do too much and they lose interest and the lead is lost along with the potential for engagement.


A successful message is designed to promote your brand, develop customer relationships, show your company’s authority, subliminally seduce your audience in to remembering you so when they are ready to buy they come to ‘you’.

What do you think?

How important is it that the right message gets delivered to the right social media platform?

How relevant does your message need to be?