Introducing Digital Resources Through a Trusted Format
In part one of this series, we touched on the reasons why digital and traditional marketing work together so well in the context of digital experiences delivered via print.
To sum it up, using traditional and digital marketing together enables you to direct your audience to a digital resource through a trusted format and ensure that the user successfully reaches the desired locale.
In this segment, we’re going to talk about the exciting ways in which this is possible. With technology like near field communication (NFC), QR codes, PURLs, and standard URLs.
We’ll also touch on other ways we can merge digital and traditional marketing, focusing on a few strategies adaptable to almost any marketing campaign, as well as exciting dimensional mailer options.
Let’s get started.
User Experience Mailers: Digital Delivered
Experiential mailers are one of the most effective tools available for making impressions and engaging high-value target audiences. Typically used to target heavily-vetted leads or high-value customers, experiential mailer campaigns tend to be smaller in size and focus exclusively on premium audiences.
They also normally cost more per piece than other direct mail options. This is justified by their significantly higher rate of engagement and conversion.
Experiential mailers are perhaps the best way to merge digital and traditional direct marketing. Many of these mailers take the form of dimensional mailers or box mailers. Marketers can use the extra physical space to send digital products like key fobs, secure USBs, or even LED screens to play a video upon opening.
This advantage can deliver digital experiences directly, rather than relying on the recipient to follow a link or scan a QR code, making them uniquely effective pieces of marketing collateral.
QR Codes, PURLs and URLs
In merging traditional and digital avenues of marketing, this seems to be the original industry standby and is still a very effective means of marketing. Coupling a URL, PURL, or QR code (often leading to a PURL) can direct your audience’s attention to a digital asset, allowing them to engage with more information than what can fit in traditional advertising.
A URL is pretty ubiquitous and the most basic level of digital marketing delivered via traditional print. It’s simply a web address included on any print collateral sent to your audience. Everyone uses this, you know about it, and probably already do this. Moving on.
Most marketers are familiar with the QR code. Once lauded, the QR code became the laughing stock of print to digital marketing once it became clear that they were sort of problematic to use, requiring a specially installed app to work. Since then, QR technology has been integrated into most smart phones, and today, the QR code is enjoying a renaissance as a viable marketing tool, capitalizing on its unique ability to guide your audience to the digital property of your choosing with absolute consistency.
A PURL is one of the best ways to encourage engagement with your audience. PURLs are customized domains that convey some sort of relevant/topical meaning to your target. For instance, a direct mail advertisement for lawn care sent to Mark Zuckerberg could include the PURL MarkZuckerberg.Lawn.biz to encourage him to visit the link and set up a consultation. The point is, they’re a great part of a personalized marketing campaign, they pique user interest, and they make the print to digital jump effectively.
IP Addresses and Geocoding
Another way traditional marketing is merging with the digital world is through the uses of IP addresses and geofencing to focus targeted marketing efforts.
With geofencing, we can look at the habits of consumers on a geographical level and send targeted marketing efforts via digital platforms advertising location-approximate businesses.
In physical to digital location-based marketing, we can take a collection of IP addresses, match it to a corresponding region, and effectively market services and businesses via direct mail campaigns.
Near Field Communication (NFC)
Near Field Communication (NFC) is another technology on the horizon that has the ability to make a big impact – but it’s not quite there yet. Basically, NFC technology relies on small electronic signals to transmit data from a chip to a device or between devices. When an NFC chip is in range of an electronic device, usually less than a few inches, it can connect with that device to perform a number of actions, such as pulling up a website or encouraging the download of an app.
NFC isn’t just an interesting futuristic form of direct to digital marketing, it also has the potential to be highly efficient. Requiring no battery and extremely light in weight (the chip in many credit cards is an NFC device), they can be sent even in two-dimensional direct mail at little added cost. They’re also extremely inexpensive to produce and make a definite impact.
The options for print to digital conversion are wide-ranging and as marketers, it’s important for us to be creative with technology and embrace new possibilities that it affords us.
Do you have your next traditional to digital mailer campaign planned? Contact us to see how we can help.
About Jeff Sammak
As president and founder of Strata Company, Jeff Sammak has been a leader in the advanced integration of marketing, data and emerging technologies for over 20 years. He has a deep understanding of complex business challenges and keen ability to translate them to technology-driven solutions that align to a client’s key strategic business objectives. He attended Monmouth College for Business, Jeff enjoys scuba diving, skiing and spending time with his family.