1:1 Print: One Channel Among Many

By | October 12, 2012

When we talk about how digital print fits into today’s marketing trends, we often talk about multi-channel marketing. Increasingly, 1:1 printing doesn’t stand alone. It works in concert with other channels like email, social media, QR Codes, social media, and opt-in text messaging.

But just how many channels are we talking about? Is one channel enough? How about two? Or do you need three? It depends, perhaps, on how easy you make it for your customers to deploy them.

MindFire has been tracking growth in the use of multi-channel elements by its customers’ end users (marketers) and its data show just how quickly a marketer’s multi-channel programs can expand when the addition of channels is simplified.

In 2009, Marymount University, which uses the MindFire platform, began using a multi-channel strategy. Over the next two years, it rapidly expanded its number of channels used. Because it tracked and monitored each channel, it knew where its efforts were most effective.

Over time, it increased its total number of mailers by 15.5%, increased its email component to nearly 100%, increased its graphics versioning from one version to six, and added SMS text reminders, personalized QR Codes, and mobile-optimization.

Fall 2009 Fall 2010 Fall 2011
23,144 Total Mailers 25,928 Total Mailers 26,736 Total Mailers
50% w/Email 96% w/Email 96% w/Email
12,201 In-House Names 14,145 In-House Names 12,635 In-House Names
10,943 Outside Names(Postal Only) 11,783 Outside Names(Multi-Channel) 14,101 Outside Names(Multi-Channel)
1 Direct Mailing 1 Direct Mailing 1 Direct Mailing
2 Email Follow-Ups 2 Email Follow-Ups 2 Email Follow-Ups
4-Page PURL Microsite 4-Page PURL Microsite 4-Page PURL Microsite
1 Graphics Version 1 Graphics Version 6 Graphics Versions
1 SMS Text Reminder 1 SMS Text Reminder
Website Banner Ads Website Banner Ads
Personalized QR Codes
Mobile-optimized Site

What kind of things did Marymount learn? In its 11 cross-media campaigns with PURLs between February 2011 – April 2012, it found that . . .

  • 10% of people responded after the direct mail launch but before the first email
  • 69% of people who responded did so only after receiving the first email follow-up
  • Multi-channel prospects are 4.5x more responsive than single-channel responders — 1.32% average single single-channel response rate vs. 5.87% average multi-channel response rate.

These are powerful insights.

You don’t get results like these by looking at sales figures at the end of a campaign or end of a season. You get results like these by monitoring each channel individually, then wrapping those lessons around to the next campaign. It’s added time, but as Marymount University clearly discovered, it’s worth it.

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