7 Tips for Multichannel Campaigns

Originally Published in Target Marketing’s Tipline E-Newsletter
by Britt Brouse
Jul 9, 2008

For their presentation at DM Days Conference & Expo in New York City this past June, Michael Bloom, general manager of Datran Direct and VP of direct marketing operations for Datran Media, and Dan Parzych, VP of data solutions for Alliant Cooperative Data Solutions, added a fourth paradigm of “right channel” to the direct marketing adage of “right consumer, right offer, right time.”

In Multichannel Convergence: The Consumer Battle of Offline vs. Online, Bloom and Parzych shared these helpful tips for getting started in direct mail and e-mail multichannel marketing without breaking the bank.

1. Start with a Sensible Investment. Allocate 10 percent of your marketing budget to multichannel testing. Not testing will cost that much more.

2. Grow Your E-Mail File. Ask for e-mail addresses with every contact. Use e-mail appends and phone appends to enhance your database. The benefits far outweigh the costs, as multichannel promotions lead to a 15 to 25 percent higher order size.

3. Repurpose Your Lists. Consider using direct response Internet lists for direct mail testing. One recent direct mail test across many markets showed a list sourced from consumer direct responses in the e-mail channel outperformed a traditionally compiled list with a 67 percent higher response rate.

4. Create Contact Strategies. Create multichannel contact strategies that enable multiple buying paths. Consumers use both e-mail and direct mail for shopping and buying. A successful multichannel contact strategy will simplify the buying path—offering consumers speed and convenience.

5. Test Across Channels. Use the e-mail channel to test new offers and creative for direct mail. Also repurpose direct mail creative for e-mail efforts to achieve consistent messaging. “The same offers that work in e-mail are going to work in direct mail; it’s much less expensive [to test] and you’ll know within three days,” Bloom says.

6. Apply Comprehensive Metrics. Track campaign performance at an enterprise level—across channels, products and segments—rather than a single-channel level. If you do not measure in terms of total integrated revenue, channels will compete with one another.

7. Bookend Direct Mail with E-mail. Send out an e-mail one week before the in-home date of your direct mail piece, with a message acknowledging the coming mail campaign and sharing a URL and/or toll-free phone number. Then one week after the mail piece is delivered, send a second e-mail acknowledging the direct mail contact and reiterating the other response channels.

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