With the ongoing pandemic, there’s more digital noise than ever before. This makes it harder to grab and keep your customer’s attention long enough to get them through the sales process or to fully understand your value proposition, especially with digital touchpoints.

Combine that with the fact more traditional marketing tactics, like email, are declining in effectiveness, marketers need to try methods outside their usual marketing cadence. Additionally, they need to make every lead count. It’s essential for their success during this time. 

When everyone is trying to fight for attention in one space, it makes sense for marketers to try other methods outside the norm. In fact, according to PFL and Demand Metric’s The State of Multichannel Marketing Report, the effectiveness rating of email dropped considerably in 2020. It no longer appears in the top five best channels to use for the sales and marketing audience.

Now the top five channels are direct mail, events (webinars, trade shows, virtual events), content syndication, display advertising, and outbound (BDR/SDR).

We surveyed nearly 600 marketing professionals from various industries to discover the biggest factors impacting multichannel marketing success, best practices, and how to optimize specific tactics within multichannel campaigns.

The research found data accuracy, understanding audience needs, and branding are the most important factors to multichannel campaign success. Marketers need to use data to inform proper segmentation techniques and personalization efforts to create relevant touchpoints. 

Below are a few more key findings from The State of Multichannel Marketing Report that can help your marketing team reach success. 

Using 4-6 channels in your multichannel campaign leads to the best response rates 

The percentage of study participants who report good or very good response rates improved dramatically in 2020 when 4 to 6 channels are in use, as the figure (right) shows.

Events and direct mail are the most effective for reaching target audiences

Events and integrated, branded, and personalized direct mail are the most effective channels for reaching target audiences. These channels are interactive, which makes the touchpoint more memorable and intimate. By using these channels, your audience is more likely to interact positively with your brand. And, now, especially as in-person events and meetings have moved virtually, the savviest marketers are enhancing their events by incorporating direct mail.  

The top campaign success factors 

Data accuracy, understanding audience needs, and branding top the list of multichannel marketing campaign success factors. Personalizing delivered messages, scalability, and channel attribution were also on the list but didn’t report to carry the same weight. 

84% find direct mail improves multichannel campaign effectiveness

Direct mail reportedly complements other channels and improves overall campaign effectiveness. The percentage of subjects who reported this is up from 80% in 2019 to 84% in 2020.

Multichannel mixes incorporating direct mail report better response rates and ROI

Study participants reported a 12% lift in “good” or “very good” response rates and 18 percent lift in “good” or “very good” ROI when direct mail is part of the multichannel mix.

Direct mail is the best channel for reaching the C-Suite audience

Direct mail is the best channel to reach the executive, or C-Suite, audience – as reported by participants (right) – which is the most sought after by study participants.

So how should you incorporate this information into your marketing efforts? Keep reading for my recommendations.

Audit your multichannel marketing campaigns

By reviewing key performance metrics and identifying your top-performing channels, you can gain a deeper understanding of how each channel influences your customer journey. These insights can help you improve your campaigns in the future and optimize your channel mix.

Select the right multichannel marketing mix

Our study determined marketers who use four to six channels in their campaigns report the highest levels of effectiveness. Select the right multichannel mix for your target audience by eliminating underperforming channels and optimizing your core channels. It also not only increases efficiency but saves time and money.  

Add direct mail to your multichannel mix

This is the second consecutive year study participants have reported better response rates and ROI when direct mail is part of the multichannel mix. Direct mail can reach specific audiences such as the C-Suite and acts as a force multiplier to multichannel marketing programs. Mail is effective because it’s visual, interactive, and gives a personal touch for the brand.

Ensure your tech stack is working together

Multichannel campaign orchestration is hard enough. And, the level of difficulty is much greater when channels are siloed. Evaluate the technology you are using in your multichannel campaigns and ensure your tech stack is working together.

For example, our study shows a significant value and impact of direct mail comes from integrating it with the technology marketers use for multichannel campaigns. Response rates can be improved by integrating direct mail with other marketing technology, allowing data-driven, triggered sends at optimal times for recipients.

Leverage data to personalize your messages 

This study, like many others, shows the impact personalization can have. The value of personalization applies as strongly to direct mail as it does to any digital format. Digital intent signals can inform the content and timing of your tactile marketing when you integrate direct mail with your tech stack. Those that include direct mail in the channel mix, and follow the best practices for format choice, integration, and personalization, will stand out from their competition.

In today’s digitally cluttered world, it’s the brands that are memorable that are winning. Using tactile marketing automation alongside your digital efforts can help you cut through the noise and deliver an extraordinary brand experience. 

About the Author: Nick Runyon is an accomplished executive with 20 years of experience in developing and implementing marketing strategies that drive fast and scalable growth. As CMO of PFL, he helps marketers achieve unmatched results through direct mail orchestrated with digital marketing and sales.