Understanding Omnichannel Marketing and the Role of Direct Mail

October 08, 2020

At a time when digital marketing is at the forefront of most campaigns, too many businesses are losing out by excluding direct mail and other traditional strategies. Even with the pressure to shift online and aggressively tap into digital audiences, the value of a truly omnichannel approach cannot be understated—especially now.


What is Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is more than an industry buzzword—it’s a sophisticated approach that seeks to bridge offline and online channels. The overall goal is to create a seamless customer experience as customers interact with a brand on multiple channels to move through the sales funnel. 

What makes omnichannel strategies so effective is how each touchpoint anticipates the next. For example, a lead may receive a promotional postcard, but rather than sending them to a generic homepage, the mailer may include a QR code that redirects to a campaign-specific landing page. 


Why Traditional and Digital Work Well Together

Customers interact with brands on several platforms, though the specific platforms or channels may vary between brands and industries. This approach may include several printed pieces like postcards, catalogs, and magazine ads, combined with digital media like webpages, mobile apps, and social posts. 

There are many other potential touchpoints, but regardless of where your audience finds you, the final goal is almost always to nurture their interest and turn them into customers. 

While it may seem cost-effective to cultivate an online-only presence, the return on investment (ROI) on digital alone is often a drop in the bucket compared to campaigns with data-driven direct mail techniques. This can be attributed to over-saturation in digital advertising, lack of personalization or timeliness, difficulty distinguishing from spam, consumer skepticism to unfamiliar brands, or even the simple inability to ever re-discover a brand after one or two ads.


Benefits of Direct Mail

Direct mail continues to drive conversions, particularly when used alongside other channels to help potential customers fully understand the benefits of the product or service being advertised. 

Studies show direct mail often outperforms other digital campaigns with 29 percent ROI—and this isn’t surprising when we consider the data behind related consumer experience findings. One neuromarketing firm used EEG readings and eye-tracking technology and found direct mail is 21 percent easier to process and 70 percent easier to remember than digital ads alone. 

According to a survey by the Data and Marketing Association, approximately 50 percent of direct mail recipients (50.9 percent, to be exact) consider postcards and similar marketing mailers helpful. Respondents’ feedback mentioned postcards as more memorable, more personal, and more convenient.


Direct Mail is More Sophisticated Than Ever

Direct mail strategies have been criticized in the past as being unsophisticated or difficult to track, but this isn’t necessarily the case anymore. Businesses now have more options to target campaigns, personalize messaging, and measure outcomes.

Rather than sending postcards to every household in a select area, marketers can acquire curated lists of homeowners or residents based on recent and upcoming milestones in their lives. Pre-mover lists, for example, offer relevant contact information for all homeowners who have recently listed their home for sale. If your company offers products or services that can help someone successfully relocate, using this more targeted list can help drive sales and build brand awareness.


Today’s Direct Mail is Personalized, Automated, and Measured

There are a few ways to personalize direct mail collateral. Including the recipient’s name is often one of the first techniques that comes to mind, which is why it’s so important to use current data. Beyond this, though, companies can also personalize messaging and promotions based on recent activity. For a business marketing to pre-movers, this might include an initial mailer when the person lists their home and a follow-up campaign when a homeowner accepts an offer.

One of the biggest challenges companies used to have with direct mail was the inability to effectively automate and track mailers. As a result, digital advertising has been able to gain traction very quickly, since it allows advertisers to be more hands-off while still making it easy to see how many impressions or clicks they get on paid ads. But these features are becoming commonly available for direct mail.


How FMAdata Can Help Introduce Direct Mail Strategies

There are now convenient options to automate direct mail, from printing to distribution. At FMAdata, we offer fully automated postcard printing and fulfillment; when a new lead joins our database, we can immediately mail them a piece of marketing collateral on your behalf. We also provide delivery confirmation, making it easier than ever to track the exact number of leads you’re reaching.

If you’re ready to integrate your digital and traditional marketing efforts, get in touch with our team today. Our pre-mover lead lists are updated daily with verified homeowner information. Plus, we can work with you to fully automate your postcard fulfillment and tracking.