The idea of using email, direct mail and a website or blog as part of one unified campaign, began to be experimented with around 2006.
For those companies that had access to the lists and could really experiment with the approach it was then, and has ever since been, a triumph.
But such companies were in a minority – the vast majority of organisations didn’t try this approach at all, and of those that did, far too many tried using the virtually the same approach in both email and postal direct mail. The only thing they proved was that the “same copy” tactic simply would not work.
However there is of course a link between email campaigns and postal campaigns. The email campaign works on the basis of grabbing attention via the email and then giving the features etc on the website. The postal campaign is the same, except that we use the sales letter, and the brochure or flyer.
So there is a similarity – but that does not mean you use the same text and design in each.
Let's imagine for a moment that I am going to promote my services as a copywriter, stressing that the biggest issue in direct mail and email is getting the reader to travel beyond the five seconds it takes to read the headline and opening words. So I write the headline on the email...
You are not reading this
And after it a note explaining why you are not reading this, link to the website which explains all that can be achieved by a good copywriter.
Then a week later I send out the letter and brochure, with the headline
You are still not reading this.
This sounds a viable idea to me - it focuses on the reader ("you" is always the perfect word) and suggests that there is a bit of fun going on, and an awareness of what "you" the reader is up to.
But the rest of the text has to change quite radically. If the reader thinks, “I read this last week” then all is lost.
Let's try another one. If you were selling office chairs you might try:
What is the simplest way of improving the effectiveness of all your office staff?
The second piece could then have the headline
If there is a simple way of improving office effectiveness, why don't most firms use it?
Thus we evolve the rule – a similar but different headline (enough to remind the reader that there is something here of interest, but not enough to make them say, “seen it!”)
If you would like to talk through the whole approach to doing emails and postal campaigns linked together – and indeed if you would like to talk about how to research the mailing lists so that you can achieve this end, please call 01536 399 000.
There are more ideas on our regular Hamilton House blog www.blog.hamilton-house.com as well as information on all our services on the main web site: www.hamilton-house.com