Discover How Digital and Direct Marketing Can be Best of Friends

Old fashioned offline direct marketing is making a comeback; see how mailings could find a new role to play in promoting your web presence.

If your business is a purely web based operation like an e-commerce site, or your website has become the main touch point between you and your market, then its all too easy to slip into the mindset that all online marketing is new and innovative and all offline marketing is clunky, old fashioned and ineffective.

But the reality is that one offline marketing tool, direct marketing, is experiencing something of a renaissance thanks to growth in the online sector. More and more web-based or web-reliant businesses are finding that digital and direct can in fact be the best of friends.

Direct marketing provides just the right level of sophistication and real time responsiveness to appeal to tech savvy online marketers. For many years now, the trend in direct mail has been to move away from larger mass mailings to smaller niche targeted campaigns, which fits well with the one-to-one user-led philosophy of web 2.0 marketing.

A well planned and maintained mailing database can be used in as equally sophisticated a way as customised content in a website or dynamic emails. The majority of websites now collect data on users and visitors, and this data can easily be profiled and used to source new data of matching consumers or businesses, for us in direct mail campaigns. Improvements in digital printing technology also mean that its affordable to customise every mailing message to its recipient, so that there’s a consistently individual and targeted relationship with potential customers both offline and online.

Furthermore, markets are even seeing that offline direct marketing actually has some significant advantages when compared to purely online marketing methods.

Using digital tools like Pay Per Click advertising or natural search optimisation only reaches those consumers who are already online, a very narrow segment of your potential audience. Businesses are also finding themselves competing against other online competitors in an ongoing war of search of engine rankings and ever increasing Pay Per Click bids.

But if you use direct marketing to target the right type of potential visitors offline and get them to come to your website directly by giving them your website address, you can get them to reach your end goal (an online order or enquiry) with far less chance of them being distracted along the way by other search results or competitor advertising.

Some brands are even creating tactical websites, or microsites, specifically to receive traffic generated by offline campaigns. In these cases, a direct marketing campaign with a strong creative theme can then be recreated online, where there are more opportunities to capture user data for future direct marketing, and so the process turns full circle. And with falling web development costs the use of tactical microsites is now well within reach of most small to medium sized businesses as well.

Another more surprising benefit of using direct mail to promote a web-based business is that a good old fashioned mailer might just be more successful in getting your audience’s attention than yet another email to their saturated inboxes.

And then there are the benefits of sending something real and tangible in the post to a potential customer, which in turn gives an online business more credibility. This could be especially true of sectors such as financial services and insurance where online competition is particularly fierce, or brands targeting older consumers and marketing products at the luxury end of the market.

If you need targeted prospect leads to run your direct mail campaign, Selectabase have consumer and business databases at your disposal, thanks to the Prospect Download service. This give you an easy access to over 38 million UK consumers and over 2.6 million UK businesses with extensive targeting searches, no minimum order and the data available in minutes.

Save time and money on your mailing campaign with Create & Post. No more fiddling with mail merges, printing letters or stuffing envelopes. Simply upload your letter and addresses and we’ll take care of everything for you, all this from 52p per letter.

For more information, call us on 01304 383838 or email us at