Email marketing is great – on the face of it cheap because there is no postage – and the effects can be measured. But it’s the norm now and its effect is diminishing – but any marketing activity is more effective when executed in conjunction with other outbound techniques that act in a complementary fashion.

There are various pieces of research done as to how many different exposures to a company’s marketing it takes to register any interest with a prospect in the target audience. And this is may not even be “buying” interest – it might just be recognition at the most basic level. Depending on whose papers you read, it could be anywhere between 7 and 30 exposures to a marketing message before any sort of positive response is measured.

So it makes sense to capitalise on this particular aspect of consumer behaviour and ensure that marketing activity is spread out over a campaign that is regularly repeated almost to the point that a prospect starts to expect a piece of marketing from you.

However, as it might be imagined, the more times a marketing message is repeated in exactly the same fashion, the less impact it has. So how do we overcome this?

In our series of blogs on email marketing, we discuss the mechanics of the how to put together an effective digital marketing campaign, but there is massive mileage to be gained from mixing up digital marketing with traditional marketing techniques.

Combine to accelerate performance

Email marketing, coupled with landing pages and landing page optimisation will be effective, but at a low level making it a numbers game. From experience, a 5-10% open rate for emails is about the norm and 1-2% click through would be good. But these numbers can be doubled or tripled by mixing up email marketing with other outbound marketing tools. Here are some ideas off how this might work, based on our own experiences.

Direct Mail

Snail mail is often derided by the new age of digital marketing gurus, but our experience is that a well thought out direct mail can be really effective. And especially so in conjunction with email marketing. A piece of direct mail arriving through the post is a bit of a novelty now and you have to hold it in your hand to do anything with it. It might not get read, but at least you have a better chance of the content being scanned. The simple fact is that an email takes just a click to consign to the recycle bin folder (or Junk Folder – even worse) – you don’t have to even look at the content.

Send a postcard to the same audience a week after the email shot and relate the content back to the email so there is a clear linkage in the message. You might want to either replicate the same message or offer a complementary one, but you must measure its effect. Do this with a bespoke landing page on the website; point the recipient at different landing pages for each version of the post card and you can see from both the calls to action and analytics which version converts better.

You can expect your campaign performance to improve by another 100% with a follow up direct mail piece.

However, postage is expensive though and you are going to be paying probably at least £1 a pop for each card you send out. If budget is constrained, think perhaps about sending postcards only to those who have opened the email – after all they are interested enough to open the email – or maybe segment your list and send the postcards out to those prospects that you would most like to convert.

Targeted letters to key prospects

Staying with the theme of snail mail, another tactic that is incredibly successful is to identify a small sub-set of really desirable prospects off your email list and to research them as thoroughly as you can. You would be amazed how much information you can trawl from the internet for the simple reason is that key decision makers usually generate a lot of personal PR, which gives you an insight into their position on a variety of topics. Craft a letter to these individuals referencing firstly the issues that you have found a common interest in and secondly the other key people in the organisation that you are also writing to. Indicate you will also call them in 48 hours to have a discussion about said issues. Use a fountain pen if you have one or something that looks like one and hand-write “Dear abc” instead of typing it and sign it “Yours sincerely, your name” in ink – not biro and hand write the envelope. You will be staggered when you make that call and find out your target has got your letter sitting on his desk and has been looking forwards to your call.