For The Brief, its new customer magazine, Royal Mail needed content for small-business owners that would both build its brand and give readers something of measurable value for their business.
The desired conversion action was for the customer to use a Royal Mail service in conjunction with their existing — predominantly digital — marketing activities, in a way that measurably benefited their business.
Based on this, the editor of The Brief commissioned me to write three advice pieces on different aspects of digital marketing. Each looked at a different channel, how it can be optimised in its own right and how the reader can achieve even higher returns by adding in a dash of direct mail.
Avoiding the obvious
The editor and I were keen to avoid either the kind of clickbait, over-simplified advice you often see on the web (‘Do these 5 things to increase your conversion rate by 6000%‘) or just the usual hum-drum turgid tick-list.
In one article, I looked at the work of classic DM copywriter Frank Johnson; how lessons from his copy can be applied to PPC, and how mixing PPC and direct mail can increase conversion rates.
The second piece was a quick-fire run-down of ways to improve your site’s search ranking. We tied this in to Royal Mail’s services by looking at how direct mail can help local businesses increase conversion from search and bring pre-qualified customers to their site.
The final article discussed the difficult topic of how often to contact your customers. Rather than give misleadingly definitive advice, I gave the reader a tool kit of methods he or she can use to determine the best frequency. This included looking at which channels, digital or DM, different segments of customers responded to best and working out the optimum strategy for each channel.
We don’t have metrics from the first issue yet, but in focus groups, in which the new magazine was tested against other marketing deliverables aimed at the same demographic, The Brief consistently came out top with customers.