Making Marketing Integration Work For You

The advent of e-mail marketing has led many businesses to lessen their use of more traditional approaches such as direct mail and telephone, and the reasoning behind this is simple: E-mail marketing is less expensive, and it capitalizes upon the technology that more and more customers are comfortable making purchasing decisions from nowadays.

However, many companies take it a step too far, in that they abandon the use of direct mail and telephone altogether, when in fact this will do more harm than good.

The most effective method of communication is a multi-channel approach whereby a mix of these methods is employed to reach as many of your customers/prospects as possible.

Keep in mind that a portion of your database will not use e-mail to consider what you are offering. The same is true with direct mail and phone solicitation. To effectively reach every potential buyer you need to employ the use of every potential channel.

For the purposes of this posting I am only going to discuss phone, e-mail and direct mail although there are numerous other strategies you should be using as well.

The question you need to ask yourself as a business is: what is the ideal mix of multi-channel marketing?

While there is no definitive answer, a recent marketing study put out by the University of California sheds some light onto how you should develop your marketing mix.

According to the study, customer spending hit its peak when phone and direct mail contacts were combined 6 times each (this does not include e-mail). The thinking is that direct mail and phone strategies are complementary in terms of their impact on customer behavior.

In regards to e-mail:

  • Per every phone contact, the ideal number of e-mails is 5 to 6
  • If you bump this number up to 3-5 calls, the ideal number of e-mails drops to 2 to 3
  • Per every direct mail contact, the ideal number of e-mails is 5
  • If you bump this number up to 5, the ideal number of e-mails drops all the way down to 1

It is also vital when developing your marketing mix that you focus on not being too intrusive. Your customers and prospects value their time and if you interrupt them too much they will begin to see you as a nuisance.

The same marketing study listed the ideal number of single channel contacts over a 3 month period of time:

  • 3 via telephone
  • 3-4 via e-mail
  • 9-10 via direct mail

In a time where everyone wants to abandon direct mail, many customers view it as the least intrusive of all these methods, and as such you should continue to incorporate it into your marketing mix.

At least as long as it’s not horribly ineffective.

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