Multichannel Campaigns: How Many Channels To Use For Best Performance?

Marketers reported better response rates, return on investments and performance when using direct mail in their multichannel campaigns, according to a study released Thursday.

Demand Metric and PFL partnered for the second consecutive year to understand how nearly 600 marketers use multichannel marketing. This is PFL’s third annual report — The State of Multichannel Marketing, which includes direct mail, analyzed responses from nearly 600 marketers.

Some 66% of marketers said the ROI for multichannel campaigns with direct mail drove a good or very good response, versus 48% of those who did not use direct mail in their multichannel campaign. Some 77% said they got a better response with direct mail versus 85% who did not use it.

The study aimed to analyze indicators signaling higher performance, share best practices, and help marketers understand when to use specific tactics.

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Online and offline advertising and marketing always seem to produce better results, despite results in this survey from a direct mail company. The findings suggest that multichannel campaigns report a return on investment of 18 percentage points higher than those without direct mail. About 84% of respondents indicate that direct mail improves multichannel campaign performance. 

Marketers using four to six channels reported the best response rates at 77%, while those using seven or more channels reported a response rate of 74%, vs. those using three or few channels at 63%.

Events and integrated, branded, and personalized direct mail are the most effective channels for reaching target audiences. Some 82% of those using direct mail such as integrated, branded, and personalized reported reaching their target audience, followed by 82% of those using events such as webinars and virtual events, and 71% using outbound BDR and SDR.

Data accuracy, understanding audience needs, and branding top the list of multichannel marketing campaign success factors. When asked to rate the importance of these multichannel campaign success factors, 73% cited data accuracy, 70% cited understanding audience needs, and 58% cited design and branding of messages.

Some 84% reported that direct mail improves multichannel campaign performance, while 39% said they saw a moderate improvement, 34% said they saw a slight improvement, 16% saw no discernible improvement, and 11% saw a major improvement.

Direct mail is the best channel to reach the C-suite. Study participants report these channel are effective at reaching the C-Suite:

  • Direct mail – 75%
  • Events – 71%
  • Email – 56%

Marketers cited the channels most used in multichannel marketing campaigns. Here are the percentages:

  • Email – 90%
  • Social media marketing – 84%
  • Events (webinars, trade shows, virtual events, etc.) – 71%
  • Display advertising and re-marketing – 56%
  • Search marketing and pay-per-click – 48%
  • Outbound BDR/SDR (can include phone, email, social, etc.) –  46%
  • Direct mail – 44%
  • Content Syndication – 34%
  • Other channel – 7%

Many factors contribute to the success of multichannel marketing campaigns, but data, audience needs, and branding top the list. Marketers were asked to rate the importance:

  • Data accuracy – 73%
  • Understanding audience needs – 70%
  • Design and branding of delivered messages – 58%
  • Orchestration/coordination with multiple channels – 49%
  • Personalizing delivered messages – 48%
  • Scalability – 44%
  • Channel Attribution – 39%
  • Mix of offline and online tactics – 33%
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