He could be the poster child for “Modern Marketer.” Ashley Friedlein, founder of Econsultancy, has built a 20+-year resume in digital media. Indeed, he writes that his specialty is digital marketing, media and e-commerce.
But the digital expert tried an experiment recently that involved a letter campaign. The list was made up of individuals who were not already 1st connections on LinkedIn. He bought a list of marketing and e-commerce professionals and ran it against the list of his LinkedIn connections. The final list of 2000 people got personalized letters. He used an online mailing service from the UK’s Royal Mail for this.
In his letter, Friedlein invited each person to visit his LinkedIn profile via a URL he created in Bitly (and therefore could track) and to connect with him if they were interested.
The letter campaign worked, for a fairly modest expense (about $2400). At the time he wrote up his results, Friedlein reported that 188 people used the special URL he’d included in the letter – a 9.4% response rate. And, he added, more than half of these happened with the first two days of the letter reaching the list.
What’s significant about this? A few things stand out –
•People responded to a letter campaign.
•The offer was compelling (surely, they Googled the author or visited his LinkedIn page immediately, and they liked what they saw).
•Friedlein’s campaign integrated print with digital media (a special URL, the online mailing service) as well as social media (LinkedIn).
•Some people responded that they found his letter a refreshing change.
•Based on current DMA stats, this little campaign was especially effective: “Direct mail achieves a 3.7% response rate with a house list, and a 1.0% response rate with a prospect list.” (2015 DMA Response Rate Report)
Will any of Friedlein’s new LinkedIn connections (156 at the time of his blog post) turn into customers? Time will tell. Regardless, they’re high-quality prospects who are now linked to him.
He was smart. His letter campaign was measurable. The list was clean (selected carefully and run against an existing list). His offer was strong and risk-free. The delivery channel was traditional but worked with new ones.
In this marketing experiment, print + digital = success.