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#2.16: The "Connecting Direct Mail to Email" Issue

1 > Catalog inserts to drive email subscriptions
2 > Online subscriptions for offline catalogs
3 > Adding email addresses to your house list
4 > You’ve got to see this: GasPedal’s CEO Dinner III

1 > Catalog inserts to drive email subscriptions

Build your email subscription list by inserting tear-out email subscription postcards in your direct mail pieces, such as catalogs and magazines. You already have your customers’ attention through one medium; why not try to communicate through email? As studies and real-life experiences demonstrate, multi-channel marketing is an effective way to maintain deep relationships with your customers. Blow-in cards or the tear-out postcards often seen in magazines are a highly noticeable format that you can use to attract new subscribers to your promotional or content-driven email newsletter.

The lesson: Build your email newsletter subscription base through an off-line venue.

2 > Online subscriptions for offline catalogs

Before confirming your customer’s online transaction or registration, ask your customer if he or she would like to receive your print catalog. Email promotional pieces are a powerful and inexpensive marketing tool for last-minute promotions and events; however, quality print catalogs are still an enjoyable tradition among millions of consumers and they pack a wallop for marketing seasonal product lines. Customers look forward to receiving their print catalogs, so give them another venue to buy.

The lesson: Never miss an opportunity to grow your catalog subscription list, which equates to another venue to market your products.

3 > Adding email addresses to your house list

Ever wish you had email addresses to accompany your house list of postal addresses? Here’s an up-and-coming tactic used by many traditional catalogers to strengthen their house list — it’s called email appending. Appending is a practice in which a third-party service company matches the cataloger’s customer postal addresses to an email address. Don’t jump into email appending without rigorous planning; we recommend asking your agency or broker for assistance in proceeding with email appending. Permission-based email should always remain a top priority, so approach your first communication with your customers with consideration and caution.

The lesson: Extend the relationships you have with your offline customers into an online relationship. Attach email addresses to the current customer file.

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