Don’t let anyone tell you direct mail marketing and social media don’t mix. That’s just plain wrong. The two marketing channels may be very different, but remember the old saying that “opposites attract.” Since your goal is to attract as many prospective customers as possible, marrying direct mail and social can enable your business live happily ever after.
Yet industry experts say surprisingly few small businesses take advantage of opportunities to integrate these channels to generate more leads and sales.
The power of one – each technique on its own.
Direct mail marketing, particularly in the form of colorful, irresistible postcards, is a proven winner. The purpose of direct mail is to introduce your business and make a timely, valuable offer that entices recipients to convert to customer status. You can also use direct mail for marketing campaigns aimed at upselling specific groups of existing customers, soliciting referrals or winning back former clients or patients.
While direct mail builds awareness and reinforces your brand, its fundamental value is to drive sales.
The purpose of social media is to, well, socialize with prospects and customers – sharing fun and informative content to build your credibility and value. Of course some of that sharing can relate to your products or services; however, whereas direct mail is all about sales, social marketing is about two-way conversation and relationship-building. Your social audience can help you improve your products and services, craft meaningful offers and promote them.
The exponential power of one + one – combining direct mail and social media.
Once you capture a prospect’s attention with your postcard, social media is one way you can follow up to retain their interest and build loyalty.
Studying your social media analytics helps you learn what prospects and customers are thinking. That insight helps you refine your direct mail marketing messaging and offers just as it helps improve other aspects of your business development and promotions.
Make sure your direct mail and social strategies are well-defined and working well, then tie them together using these tips:
- Promote your social channels via direct mail. If you don’t promote your presence, you won’t collect any followers, and including social channels on postcards gives people another way to connect with you. Don’t just say “find us on Facebook,” so people have to hunt for you. It’s more customer-friendly to list your Facebook name or URL, your Twitter handle, etc. so it’s easy for folks to zip right to your page. And don’t just print your social site logos, print a hashtag so postcard recipients can join the online conversation about your products or offer.
- If you’re a franchisee, make sure you’re pointing people to your own local social sites, not those of your parent company.
- Generate more online reviews by adding “love us on Google+ (or Angie’s List, etc.)” to your postcard.
- Printing a QR code on postcards is a fun way to direct recipients to your Facebook or Twitter page, but if you want people to scan something, tell them why. You’re already making some type of offer on your postcard, so the QR code represents an extra offer — what’s in it for your prospect if they use it? You could say “scan this to receive an additional 10% off.”
Effective social media marketing is both fresh and active. It’s crucial to update your social content regularly so your pages are worth visiting and you’re worth following. Since your time and other resources are limited, focusing on a couple of the most pertinent social networks – the ones your customers are using most – will achieve far more than spreading yourself too thin and doing nothing well.
When you back up that great social presence with direct mail marketing promotion, you’ll increase your exposure and your results.