Up until now I’ve pretty much always focused on social media and digital advertising. I’ve done a little bit with direct mail over the years, but until recently I never really used it in a cross-media promotion. A lot of marketing professionals see direct mail as a dying medium and instead focus exclusively on digital marketing. As I’ve tried to illustrate over the last two weeks the best campaigns are ones that can seamlessly work in all forms of media, including direct mail. Old Spice has made extensive use of direct mailers over the years to much success. The fact is they’re still a viable means to get your message out there especially if you are trying to drum up some local buzz. There are also a lot of ways you can use your direct mailers to augment your social media, too.
Just like with email marketing and social media, direct mail isn’t just about how many people come across your link or your flier, it’s about how many people click on it or open it. When I work with someone on a social media page, I make sure they know I’m not just looking at the number of fans but I’m looking at the number of page views we get. The same is true with direct mail. It isn’t about market saturation, it’s about definite interest.
It’s harder to measure definite interest with direct mail because you can’t track just how many people open your envelope. Well, you can now by using your Facebook to bolster your campaign. Put your link in your direct mail piece and tell them to post on your Facebook for discounts or free stuff. I did work for a restaurant recently and we did a promotion where they had to write, “I got free stuff for opening my mail,” on our page and it was a great success. It just takes that little bit to have for yourself the beginnings of a great cross-media campaign.
One of the major challenges of direct mail is the same problem that plagues email marketing. In digital marketing you have to be careful to make sure you don’t find your message in a spam filter or past over like a pop up add. The major problem with direct mail is that there is a stigma on it. The tag “junk mail,” is one of reasons a lot of advertisers are losing faith in direct mail as a viable medium. This is another way you can use your social media to help out your direct mail. One problem is that people try to cram as much of their message in their mailers as they can this makes our piece looking cluttered and it’s akin to shouting at people with a megaphone on the streets.
In short, it’s kind of a turn off. Now all you have to do is give them a taste and tell them where to go to find out more. Hopefully, your Facebook is already filled with great user reviews of whatever you’re selling. If you get them to go there, they can do all your work for you. Some of the mailers I’ve done for major restaurants were just pictures of food and a few web addresses, sometimes that’s all you need.
Giving your followers free stuff is a great way to get them talking but there’s another interesting way to get them talking, sometimes even begging for more. You can give free stuff to other people. Send out a few random mailers with coupons and offers and talk about it on your Facebook page. Don’t just say it outright, be subtle. Say, “Jack got this great offer in the mail and now he’s enjoying his set of golf clubs he got for 50% off.” Do something like that just a few times and you could get people asking how they can get in on that. Pretty soon you’ve got people wanting you to send them your mailers and you get some of the random people added to your Facebook list.
One thing direct mailers are great for is finding out just how much of an audience you have in a given area. They’re great because people share that kind of thing with neighbors and friends. You could even walk into a few apartment buildings and leave them in the lobby to see just what kind of audience you get. Just like with social media you never really know what kind of an audience you have until you try a little of everything. That’s the point of having a cross-media promotional campaign. You can rest easy knowing you’ve cast the widest possible net.
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