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Multi-Channel Audience Development and Increased Success

By Aileen Hough

Circulation and audience development teams are busier doing more with less, completing tasks at hand while learning about new technologies like digital editions, mobile devices, apps, and social media.

Many have said “print is dead” and “nobody uses old methods like direct mail anymore.”  So, I was thrilled to see the MMPA Summit & Expo session titled “Why Direct Mail Still Works.”  A team of people from vendor member Impact Proven Solution presented engaging information on the success of multi-channel marketing including direct mail.

On a survey of 18 to 34-year-olds, direct mail was two to three times more preferred over web contact or social media. Recipients had a higher level of trust, it was convenient, and seemed to have richer, more relevant content than other methods. Multi-channel marketing has the benefit of increasing response, while lengthening the window of opportunity for your offer. After catching our attention, the Impact team refreshed our direct marketing skills first by reminding us of the important factors:

  • 40 percent of your success is due to the correct list
  • 40 percent of your success is due to correct price/offer
  • 20 percent of your success is due to a good package

The attendees then saw five case studies from Impact magazine customers’ circulation efforts highlighting some direct mail standards: sampling, split testing, envelope messages, use of color, and package design. In each case, the audience had the chance to vote on the most successful pieces. It was an interesting exercise in what works; what doesn’t; and that all things new, bold, and beautiful do not necessarily out-produce some old standards. But everyone agrees: Multi-channel marketing will make you more successful. The use of urls, web, and social media within direct mail, can only increase your response.  So, the take away was: direct mail is alive and well for magazine audience developers.