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A Clever Use of Direct Mail to Reconnect with Email Subscribers by Matthew Johnson @vision6


A Clever Use of Direct Mail to Reconnect with Email Subscribers by Matthew Johnson @vision6


A Clever Use of Direct Mail to Reconnect with Email Subscribers by Matthew Johnson @vision6

A Clever Use of Direct Mail to Reconnect with Email Subscribers

Remember when you were a child and getting mail was something to be excited about? You’d see your name on the envelope and wonder what was inside.

But alas, you grew up and now know exactly what’s inside: bills, statements and junk mail. The illusion is gone, and opening mail – well, it’s no longer fun. In fact, most of us have trained ourselves to throw non-personal mail straight in the bin without even looking to see who it’s from.

With that in mind, some of you might be wondering if integrating direct mail campaigns with your email marketing is a thing of the past. After all, direct mail is rather expensive compared to email. What can it possibly have to offer your email marketing strategy?

Well one thing is an alternative communication method for reaching bounced email subscribers. Take a look at this direct mail campaign that recently arrived in my letterbox as an example.

Direct Mail - Front

First let me explain that my wife is quite the enthusiast when it comes to online shopping. So I didn’t think twice when I saw this missing delivery notice in my letterbox.

I simply placed it on the kitchen bench for her thinking that it must be something important. But then I flipped it over and realised that the missed delivery was actually referring to a bounced email message.

Direct Mail - Back

Now as a marketer I thought this was very clever. And it goes to show how much value Woolworths places on their customers’ email addresses. Direct mail campaigns aren’t cheap, after all.

Let’s look at what makes this direct mail campaign so great and what us email marketers can learn from it.

1. It’s well designed. Let’s be honest; most mail that arrives from companies goes straight in the bin. So designing this card to look like a missed delivery slip is ingenious and is sure to make even the most cynical consumer (like me) look twice before throwing it away. The same applies to email. A well designed email captures the reader’s attention and draws you towards the key content, offer and call to action.

2. It’s personal. More than addressing the recipient by name, it also delivers a personal and powerful message. This captures your attention and entices you to turn the card over to find out more. The ability to personalise messages is also one of the strengths of email marketing. Personalised content holds a lot more relevance for readers and is much more likely to drive action.

3. Provides clear instructions. This campaign carries with it a very simple and single-minded instruction to update your email address. And because it’s the only call to action, there are less distractions for the reader and more chance they will do it. This is a great tip for email marketers because it shows that a single, well communicated call to action can get better results than multiple calls to action.

4. Reminds you of the benefits. Regardless of the type of campaign, if you expect people to act you need to give them a reason. And the best way to do this is to by explaining what’s in it for them. What this direct mail campaign does particularly well is position the reminder directly next to the call to action. With email, positioning is arguably even more important as readers have limited space on their screens and will often need to scroll to see your message in full. So be sure to place your most important content towards the top of your email and consider how it might be viewed on different devices.

There you have it. What a great way to reconnect with bounced email subscribers in an attempt to bring them back into your email program. It’s worth noting too that direct mail is not the only way to attempt this. Another (cheaper) way to connect with bounced email subscribers is with SMS marketing which you can learn more about here.

Now over to you. Have you ever integrated direct mail with your email marketing campaigns? Or have you been on the receiving end of a clever campaign such as the above? If so, feel free to share your experiences using the comments section below. I’d love to hear what you think.

Takeaway: Sometimes by thinking beyond the medium of email marketing you can find more creative ways to re-engage with your email subscribers.

  • Profile:  Matthew Johnson is the EDM Specialist at Australian email marketing software company Vision6. His work helps to educate marketers and business owners on how to create, connect and convert using the power of email, SMS and social media marketing. His deep understanding of email marketing principles and practices has seen him work alongside hundreds of companies in the optimisation of their email marketing practices and strategies. With a passion for all things email marketing Matthew is also a regular speaker at the annual Email Marketing Summit Australia (EMSA).
  • Website:  http://www.vision6.com.au/
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/vision6
  • LinkedIn:   http://au.linkedin.com/pub/matthew-johnson/2/8b8/6a5
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Your thoughts here
  1. This is a very interesting tactic, and a great way of re-connecting at a customer level. I wonder if there was any consideration into bounce type? If an inbox is full or mis-typed my assumption is that the customer wasn’t expecting to interract via email and either provide a ‘bulk mail’ email address (we all have them) or intentionally typed in an erroneous address. However if the bounce comes expectantly from a highly engaged subscriber, I would say that this type of marketing is worth the stamp, for sure!

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