What is dialog marketing?

In the classic sense, dialog marketing means entering into a dialog with customers. It is the generic term for all marketing activities that serve to establish a direct and interactive relationship with customers. Whether by letter, telephone or online. In contrast to traditional direct marketing, which is characterized by personal contact, dialog marketing focuses on two-way communication. A measurable reaction (response) is therefore an essential part and goal of dialog marketing.

A whiteboard with the word "Audience" written on it and arrows pointing to the word

Communication must be tailored to the needs of the recipient. With a personal address and tailored content as well as the appropriate form, targeted communication is played out via mail or e-mail and at the same time the customer is given the opportunity to respond directly.

A woman sits on a sofa and reads a dialog mailing

What are mailings?

A mailing is a physical postal item that is either personally addressed, partially addressed, or sent as a direct mail piece. Particularly after the tightening of the General Data Protection Regulation, the non-personalized direct mail has gained in relevance. In contrast to e-mail marketing, sending the non-personalized variant does not require a request for consent to receive the advertising.

Mailings thus vary in their type and form (e.g., self-mailer, advertising letter, dialog mail). A wide variety of creative approaches are possible, from flyers and formal letters to high-quality, refined mailings with promotional gifts. What they have in common is their promotional character. A significant advantage of mailings by post compared to digital addressing is that they appeal to all the senses. Smelling, seeing, hearing, tasting and feeling has a strong influence on learning, perception and memory effects.

Mailings goals

The primary goal is to inform recipients about the company, actions or a product. The secondary goal is to trigger a reaction via the mailing. Response elements, such as a reply card or pre-filled questionnaires, provide an opportunity to respond to the action and simplify feedback. Another goal is to complement or enrich the customer journey of the recipient in a target-oriented way. Once a product has been purchased, the customer can be actively tied to the brand (branding), for example, through customer magazines, or an incentive can be provided for further purchases through loyalty programs.
Through two-way communication, the company gets to know its customers better on an ongoing basis and the measures can accordingly be designed in an increasingly targeted and individualized manner. Recipients are given an eye-catching surprise with unusual and exclusive mailings. The customer experience benefits from differentiated communication.

A whiteboard with a recorded idea of a mailing with possible feedback sheet

Why are mailings worthwhile?

The latest CMC Print Mailing Study from 2021, collected by the Collaborative Marketing Club (CMC) in cooperation with Deutsche Post, examined the activation power of printed mailings in the acquisition of new customers from online stores.
The results showed that the response rate averaged one percent. The costs per order averaged 40 euros, with a return on advertising spend (RoAS for short) of 250 percent. This means that one euro invested generates sales of 2.50 euros.
The study also examined the advertising impact of fully addressed (specific person) versus partially addressed direct mail (persons of a house). It was found that the fully addressed direct mail pieces were 22 percent more effective, with a 1.2 percent response rate. The partially addressed mailings, on the other hand, averaged a 0.9 percent response rate. Thus, higher activation was confirmed by fully addressed mailings.
It was also shown that the shopping basket was 20 percent larger as a result of fully addressed advertising .

Example of use of a mailing

After purchasing golf equipment in the store, the customer's personal data is recorded and consent is obtained to send advertising. Every quarter, the customer is sent customer magazines by mail, thus maintaining brand awareness. By adding other dialog marketing tools, such as an e-mail newsletter (see also e-mailing), the recipient is informed about promotions (e.g., link to homepages as a digital extension), discounts and travel suggestions. Studies have shown that the combination of physical mailing and e-mailing has a greater impact. The next step is to send travel offers, registration materials and giveaways to build anticipation. Customers can then register for the golf trip via a landing page that can be easily accessed via a QR code in the mailing. At the end of the trip, they receive a photo book by mail as a souvenir. The result is a holistic customer service that will be remembered.

A golf hole photographed from above. There is a golf ball in the golf hole. A second golf ball is just next to it on the green lawn

What is the best way to implement a mailing?

Mailing concept in place - what's next?

Everything from a single source - our proven combination of project management, implementation and support:  

Our conclusion

As one of many instruments of dialog marketing, the success of the measure depends on the objectives and the customers. Basically, various studies confirm that mailings contribute positively to customer loyalty and can increase sales. Response elements can be used to learn more and more about customers. In addition, even more data is collected through the enrichment of digital touchpoints. The knowledge gained should then be used to optimize measures but also for finer segmentation of customers.
Contrary to the watering can principle, we recommend the direct (fully addressed) advertising approach to the appropriate target group with individual and surprising content. In this way, you can have a positive impact on awareness, sales and loyalty along the entire customer journey and make your mailing a success.

A yellow postal car, usually the bearer of dialog mailings, parks in front of a red house

How mailings move our customers forward? -
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Interested? I look forward to your questions and exciting conversations about mailings and dialog marketing!

Micaela Philippin
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Our contact person for innovation management: Christian Vogl