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5 Ways to Combine Email with Print

When planning a marketing campaign, businesses often think they have to choose between direct mail and email. Not true! The intelligent approach is to use both. Here are five ways to use direct mail and email together to get the best results.

1. Use print when email addresses aren’t (yet) available. You can’t send emails to people whose email addresses you don’t have or who haven’t opted in. One of the best ways to get their buy-in is direct mail. Direct mail doesn’t require opt-in, so think of these campaigns as giant fishing nets. “Fish” for potential subscribers, catch them, then encourage them to opt-in to future email communications.

2. Use print when subscribers have opted out. There are many reasons people might unsubscribe from your email list. Sometimes they are simply overwhelmed by incoming emails and don’t have the bandwidth to distinguish between providers. Often, all it takes is a nudge to get them to return. Identify those who have unsubscribed to your list, then send them a beautiful direct mail piece saying you miss them and offer them an incentive to come back.

3. Use print as a follow-up to non-responders. If you use direct mail for every promotion, it can eat up the marketing budget. Start with an email to gather the low-hanging fruit, then send direct mail to non-responders.

4. “Watch your mailbox!” Use email to get people excited about what’s coming in the mailbox. Blast your email a day or two before the mailer is scheduled to hit. Send teasers, hints, and reasons not to miss out. When your mailer arrives, they will be excited to see what it contains.

5. Use Informed Delivery. Every piece of mail that goes through the U.S. postal system is scanned. Informed Delivery is a free service that takes those images and delivers them to subscribers’ inboxes by email every morning, letting them know what’s arriving in their mailboxes that day. You can also add free hyperlinks below those images so recipients can respond to your promotion even before the mail arrives.

Who says direct mail and email are an “either-or” proposition? These channels don’t have to be competitors. They can complement and enhance the value of each other instead!