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What do online ads, email marketing, and direct mail have in common?

On the surface, online advertising, email marketing and direct mail are strangers. They never interact, staying completely in their own bubbles. But actually – they’re more similar than you think. In fact, they all share one really important thing.

To send an email, you need an email address. In a database, that’s usually accompanied by a postal address – which you use to send direct mail.

Online advertising – paid social media, Adwords/Bing, Shopping, Amazon, Display – is an entire industry built on the foundation of huge amounts of customer data.

When we create custom audiences on these platforms, what do we upload? Customers’ email addresses.

By now, you can see where we’re going with this:

Customer data is at the heart of each of these channels.

Once we recognize this, a whole new world of opportunity opens up. Incredible results happen when brands start to better integrate these channels, using customer data across all three to optimise performance.

To leverage the power of this, here are a couple of questions to ask:

Are you aligning your email and direct mail strategies?

We know from experience that email performs far better when accompanied by a well-timed piece of direct mail. (And vice versa). With email inboxes getting more cluttered, direct mail can help your brand stand out in consumers’ minds.

Brand recall improves, as does emotional impact, response rate and average order value.

And it’s not just email – with scannable QR codes or catchy hashtags, direct mail can link up with other digital marketing channels as well.

Are using your email marketing customer segments to influence your online advertising audiences?

It’s just a waste of information if you’re not using email and direct mail customer cohorts to benefit your online advertising. Integrated cross-channel campaigns are the gold standard for marketing, and this is no different.

There are so many ways to do this:

  • Lookalike audiences to target similar audiences online and offline.

  • Exclusions of specific audience groups that you’ve already saturated via email and direct mail.

  • Advanced bid strategies based on customer segment performance across email and direct mail.

Use your CRM data to connect these three channels and they will fly, delivering better results than they could on their own.

Why this matters at Prospect Knight

As brothers, we’ve always believed that more unites us than divides us. As marketers, we take the same approach.

We’re three brothers brought together by a love of marketing and a belief that it needs to change. These are three channels brought together by a focus on customer data and an ability to benefit from change.

So, to finish on a joke: Three marketing channels walk into a bar – online advertising, email marketing and direct mail. They all look around and say, “We know everyone here.”


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