Getting Started with Email-to-Print Marketing – Part II

by Sandy Hubbard, Print Futurist  

The one-two punch of email plus print – POW! – is a powerful way to amplify your sales results.

With email-to-print (E2P) marketing, you take a visual experience (email) and turn it into a tactile experience (print). You transform a transitory message (email) into a lasting message (print). You use a targeted offer (email) to accelerate a personal offer (print).

The email starts as a one-to-many message (even though it is personalized). It can take the form of an email newsletter, sales letter, promotion, invitation, or other interactive marketing communication. You should collect the most accurate and up-to-date customer data and keep it maintained, as this will impact your email and your print delivery.

How does email-to-print work best?

As we discussed last month, email is easy and affordable. With a professional third party program behind your email, you can see who responded and what they clicked on.

When you start your email-to-print program, you’ll probably import your contacts into one big, general list of recipients. Soon after, you’ll want to begin creating and subdividing additional email lists based on customer commonality.

For example, you can create lists based on age, gender, location, job title, industry, shopping behavior and buying patterns. As you discover more about your audience, you can subdivide groups more creatively so that your subsequent print offer can drive results.

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Email-to-Print Marketing Can Be Your Most Powerful Selling Machine

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1. Tie your email database to your sales CRM and your variable printing program. When someone requests information from an email link or button, respond promptly. Send a reply email acknowledging the order. This can be automated into your email program. Mail a personalized printed piece or package just for them. Be sure to update your CRM and email database with customer activity and how you followed up.

2. Even though you will be emailing to your entire database regularly, send print offers to just one targeted email list at a time. You will want to give your full attention to creating highly specific content and well-timed offers for each group. Let’s say you analyze your email “opens” and discover that that there are 50 women business owners in a 5 mile radius who always click on your articles about local business trends.

> Print and mail each of them a classy, personalized invitation package to a luncheon at a country club.

> Bring in experts to do short presentations on cutting-edge business topics including, of course, print marketing.

> Ask attendees if they’d like to sign up for another of your email newsletters, focused on creating a community of top-performing women business owners.

> Make sure this group is catered to in all aspects of your sales and marketing before you move on to the next subset of your email list.

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Look for Buying Behavior Among Your Email Responses and Cater to that Clientele 

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3. Partner with other professionals to create content. Find other reputable businesses that want to reach these subsets. Pool your resources to create the highest quality email communications. Think about using video, audiocasts, links to premium content behind paywalls, social media discussion groups, and other devices to show recipients they are important to you.

4. Measure which subsets responded to print offers and which ones bought something. Use A/B testing in your emails to turn shoppers into buyers. Continue to find ways to intrigue and delight email recipients so they are receptive to your print offers. As you can see, a targeted email-to-print program can be more effective than the either email or print alone. If done well and done regularly — WOW! — it can be your most powerful selling machine.

Sandy Hubbard is Print Futurist for Print Media Centr and a relentless advocate for the power of print. As a consultant, she helps printers and media companies develop email-to-print campaigns focused specifically on improving sales. You can find Sandy on Twitter every Wednesday at 4 pm ET for PrintMediaCentr’s #PrintChat.

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