Mailbox stuffed with mail.

How to help your customers deliver successful multi-channel campaigns

by Scott Scheidenhelm

Direct mail still remains a proven tactic for mailers seeking to reach a targeted audience. In fact, more than four out of five marketers say they plan to keep direct mail as a part of their marketing mix in the coming year — a strong sign of the value it brings to their success.

What can be done to help your customers leverage direct mail to reach new heights in 2016? Added customization is one option. To catch the eye of readers who may otherwise gloss over a piece of collateral or signage, let’s find ways to figuratively “shake hands,” as it were, with recipients. Here are some best practices to consider sharing with your customers for their future multi-channel campaigns:

  • Find ways to incorporate unique elements that can help readers “feel” the difference in a piece of mail. Look to oversize prints or glossy stock to help your customers deliver the "pop" their campaigns need.

  • Encourage the use of more clear and white toners. This now affordable capability brings another element to your bag of tricks — and ultimately can help your customers deliver more impactful campaigns. Customers will be impressed by the vibrant difference between brochures with ordinary colors and brochures produced using new toners that can help bring a campaign to life.

  • Showcase the benefits that can be delivered with expressive finishing touches, such as booklet maker, punching, saddle stitch, and more. It’s with these capabilities that you can help your customer finalize on a piece of collateral that will leave a lasting impression on their recipients.

While these tips are important, engaging with customers is not only about the printed piece. A successful marketing campaign should integrate both online and offline. While that may sound daunting, especially for established printers, help is available, thanks to multi-channel marketing and workflow software that can smooth the transition.

Multi-channel and workflow software offer ways for your clients to customize and reach their target audience without offending readers with those “mass emails” that don’t get opened. Having these tools as a part of your portfolio can most optimally help your clients tackle the online needs of their multi-channel campaigns including:

  • Personalized email delivery. You can assist clients in sending the kind of emails that get read — not the kind that end up in junk folders — by integrating personalized content that organize messages in a reader-friendly fashion. Communicators can even choose to generate and attach individualized PDFs, all available through an SMTP provider.

  • Electronic presentment. Let your audience securely access their documents wherever they go by offering a branded viewing portal for your communications. This feature has the added effect of helping to ensure that, should a customer encounter an issue with a document, the help desk sees the same exact electronic document.

  • Advanced security. Integrate exiting LDAP and Active Directory infrastructure with a control and management tool to increase the security of user accounts and facilitate account management.

Whether your customers’ marketing messages are being delivered offline or online, these customizing tips, along with your own expertise and digital technology, will help them succeed in attaining their desired response rates.

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Scott oversees the go-to-market strategy for the production print software and services product portfolio, and has a software and services-centric background focused on solution sales, business development and alliance management. Scheidenhelm has also worked with Ricoh partners including IBM, CSC, Opentext, Nuance and NSi, and spent more than 15 years focused on enterprise output management solutions.

Scott Scheidenhelm

Senior Manager of Product Marketing

Ricoh USA