What can Direct Marketing Learn from Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing has revolutionised marketing in recent years, what with the advent of email marketing, pay per click, social media, blogging and more. Direct marketing has been around somewhat longer, but still has a role to play in the digital world, but only if it learns some of the lessons from new media.

On the face of it there are several similarities between direct and digital marketing. Both methods are data and analysis driven, and can be incorporate using a database of customer details. Content can also be delivered on an individual basis.

Yet digital marketing has also pioneered some new and unique approaches to customer communication. The concept of engagement is one such example, when digital marketing aims to engage with and gain a reaction from the recipient.

So how can traditional offline direct marketing become more engaging, just like it’s younger newer digital sibling?

  • Be bolder and braver with content that is designed to truly engage. Move beyond the simple mailer to formats with wider ranging content that is tailored to the recipients broader interests, and which repeats your brand messages. For example, maybe include offers from other non competing but highly relevant brands in your mailing, or adopt more of a content rich newsletter or magazine style format.
  • Carry out direct marketing on an ongoing basis in response to audience actions; visiting a website, signing up for content, abandoning a shopping basket, following you on facebook and so on. Consumers with greater the depth of engagement from different touchpoints can be followed up offline using direct mail, learning some of the lessons of email marketing.
  • Likewise, track the online behaviour of users responding to offline direct mail; identify where they visit in your website, give them special exclusive content, use separate micro websites with landing pages just to receive and convert traffic from mailings.
  • Ask recipients of mailings to newly sourced rented mailing lists to share, like, recommend and refer your brand just as they do online. Don’t just give them your website address; tell them where they can follow you online in social media. It may take several engagements to generate the sale.

In summary, online digital marketing and offline direct marketing can be used in greater harmony to engage with consumers in newer and more responsive ways.