The Problem with online-only marketing

There is no question that digital marketing with its quick deployment time, low cost-to-entry, and the ability to set very low spending limits per day has been the marketing channel of choice for many companies. Many view online strategies as the most effective, however, over the last few years online marketing channels have become very crowded:

  • The number of Facebook advertisers doubled from 3 million in Q1, 2016 to 6 million in Q1 of 2018. (Statista, 2018)
  • 7 million advertisers invested $10.1 billion in PPC ads in 2017. (SocialMediaToday, 2018)

The cost-per-click in digital advertising has gone up steadily over the years as more companies compete for the same keywords, resulting in lower click-through rates. On average, 41% of clicks go to the top 3 paid ads on a search results page (Wordstream). This makes an effective pay-per-click strategy even more difficult to execute.

Ad blocking in the US has increased from 15%-30% since 2014 (Statitsa, 2018). It’s a wonder why businesses bother to advertise online at all.


The multi-channel marketing solution

A digital-only strategy will have diminishing returns year after year but it’s a necessary part of a broader strategy that’s needed to engage prospects and followers. Multi-channel Marketing is quickly becoming a necessary strategy which should include a mix of traditional channels such as direct mail, phone, text and print advertising. One of the primary challenges facing marketers is proving ROI. Traditional channels couldn’t offer useful insights to their analytics but that has changed. More and more vendors are offering analytics and the ability to connect these traditional channels to digital programs. The use of personalized URLs, QR codes, and landing pages where users are driven from traditional media has made connecting these channels to digital campaigns much easier and more trackable.

Digital ads are everywhere and are easily dismissed by users who are used to seeing them throughout their online experience. Swiping left to delete e-mails and ignoring digital ads is an easily acquired habit. Traditional channels like direct mail are tangible, personal and measurable. Advertisers have more time and space to communicate the message on a physical piece. It’s an eternity compared to the time spent with a digital ad. When offline channels are added to online campaigns, they provide a lift for branding, engagement and response that can multiply the effectiveness of the campaign.

For example, businesses that need to market to new homeowners can send a direct mail piece to them and tailor the offer based on demographics in the list. The mailing can drive the recipient online for personalized offers via a QR code or a personalized URL. After consuming the content, they can be retargeted with banner ads via Facebook or display advertising to provide additional reminders long after the initial visit.


  • Direct mail with digital ads yields 28% higher conversion rate. (Source: NonProfit PRO)
  • Marketing campaigns that used direct mail and one or more digital media channel experienced 118% lift in response rate compared to using direct mail only. (Source: Merkle)
Basic Multi-Channel Flow

The most effective organizations coordinate the look, feel and message of direct mail to complement online channels, creating a cohesive customer journey. Media consumers in the U.S. interact with an average of seven marketing channels every day. It makes sense to leverage one of the most powerful channels, direct mail, with the rest of your communications program.


Next level marketing

Automating as much of the process as possible makes a complicated strategy more manageable and it’s a top priority among businesses.

  1. Spending for marketing automation tools is expected to reach $25.1 billion annually by 2023. (Martech Today, 2018)

A well-executed marketing automation program can increase opportunities to close business by as much as 50% and reduce marketing spend by 33% over non-coordinated efforts (Strategic IC, 2017). Both offline and online channels can be integrated in a marketing automation program where analytics from both categories can guide decision making. If your goal is to convert leads, you’re in good company, as it’s the goal of 69% of marketers according to HubSpot.


So what’s next?

If your organization needs a strategic partner to help guide a multi-channel approach that includes direct mail, call Ritter’s Communications. We can provide lists, cleanse data, append demographics, maximize postage savings, produce high quality print, deploy your direct mail and provide analytics that make sense and can be integrated with your current digital programs. Let’s start your next project. Call us at 954-771-7204.