The last few years have been truly amazing in the marketing/communications field. Here at R.C. Brayshaw & Company, we have embraced the changing times with open arms. With so much technology available to us today, it is often difficult to keep up with the emerging tools at our disposal and to know when to properly utilize all communication channels. Additionally, with so many companies struggling through difficult economic times and with budgets being so tight, marketers and CEO’s alike are feeling the pressure to extend the reach of every dollar they spend. Some conventional thought over the past few years has been to invest more time in e-mail marketing campaigns, a less costly form of communication with a quick delivery to their audience. Recently, however, our industry has seen a dramatic shift in this e-mail only strategy back to more traditional forms of communication such as print. What is the reason for this you may ask? First, in the highly digital age that we live in, with people getting thousands of media messages a day, studies show that people are developing a sense of what is called “digital fatigue”, the constant bombardment of e-mail blasts, pop up advertisements, social media posts etc. Everywhere you go in today’s digital world, someone is trying to sell you something.
How many of us come into the office each day and see a few hundred e-mails in our spam folders and simply delete them? For those who don’t want to take the chance of possibly missing something important, it has become a daily nuisance to spend precious and limited time browsing through them. In the end, the sender’s message often never reaches the intended recipient and even if it does, more than likely it is glossed over and deleted. What we have also learned is that e-mail only marketing reaches a certain small demographic, which consists solely of the limited amount of e-mails in your database. In the end, these e-mails are often times being overlooked by the intended recipient. Recently, we conducted an A/B test where we sent two e-mails to one group and one print piece and one e-mail to the second group. Our results were exactly in line with what industry insiders were seeing. The group with the two e-mail touches had a 1.8% response while the group with the one print and one e-mail touch had almost a 15% response. Why you ask? The answer is quite simple. First, the combination of both print and e-mail reaches a larger demographic. In many cases, no matter how good your database is, you won’t have everyone’s e-mail. If you are hoping to create new contacts, the only way you can reach potential prospects is by mailing them a printed piece. Ideally, you will have a compelling call to action that engages your audience and brings them on-line where you can gain critical data such as their e-mail address allowing you to correspond with them on multi-channels about future events or offers your organization is promoting.
Another extremely important point is that print is an anchor piece that offers permanency and adds legitimacy to your marketing campaign. A printed piece can sit on a prospect’s desk or coffee table at home for a day, a week, or even a month if they are interested in a particular product or cause. With e-mail blasts, the recipient is cornered into a split second decision, either they are interested or not and once they have moved on, it is out of sight out of mind. In addition, a printed piece shows the end user that as a company, you are willing to invest in them. It sets you apart from a competitor trying to sell the same product that isn’t utilizing multiple channels to connect with them. It opens you up to a wider demographic than your competitor and provides a steady drip of brand recognition without being overbearing. With a printed piece, we can add trackability using PURLs (Personalized URLs) or GURLs (General URLs) that will take a prospect to a microsite where valuable information can be obtained and then monitored via dashboards that can give a complete breakdown of your potential client’s interests. All this is accomplished by having a highly effective call to action such as a raffle, a discount, or a special offer. This is the incentive that makes a prospect willing to enter the microsite and share information about themselves.
Today, R.C. Brayshaw & Company has become a full service marketing/communications firm that utilizes all channels of communication such as print, video, e-mail, social media, internet marketing (through pay per click campaigns on Facebook and Google Adwords) as well as numerous other channels . We can target individuals, companies or even geographic areas to generate sales funnels that will help turn response into conversions. Our digital tracking capabilities allow our clients to see not only responses, but to measure their ROI as well. In the past, whether it was a print or e-mail campaign, we could see the number of people who said yes or no to an offer by who engaged and who didn’t. Now, we can give you the maybes, those who are interested in your product or cause but are not ready to take action. These people can have additional highly personalized messaging sent to them because of the data you gained about them through the dashboard, which increases your likelihood of making a future conversion.
With so many means of communication, it is important to remember that no single channel works best on its own. It is critical to utilize multiple channels so that you can reach a broader demographic. It is imperative on your part to understand that members of your audience are very diverse and thus might prefer certain communication channels to others. Things such as age, gender, social status, and financial stability are strong determining factors that motivate people to use some channels over others. By utilizing all of them, you will cast a broader net while showing your clients that you are engaging with the times, progressive in your thinking, and that your organization truly knows how to communicate its message appropriately and effectively to its audience. In the end, it’s about building your business and generating more revenue. The tools to do this are here, right at your disposal and if utilized effectively, they will position your organization ahead of your competition through increased sales and market share while sending the message that you are the leader in your field.