As a marketer, you want to use every means at your disposal to attract and retain customers. Social media may get all the attention these days, but, in some ways, direct mail marketing is more personal. Although you can certainly connect and converse one-on-one via social networks, it’s usually in a group environment.
Our physical mailboxes, on the other hand, are ours alone. So when your direct mail postcard shows up in our mailbox, we know your message is meant for us. It’s probably something we care about and want – maybe something we’ve been procrastinating about — so your timing is perfect, too. And on top of all that, you’re offering us a deal! We are so glad to see your postcard.
Make the best of both worlds.
It’s distinctly uncool to overly promote your products or services via social media – at least not very often. Social is there for information and fun. But sales keep you in business, so when you want to directly sell – to build up your clientele and income – use direct mail. People expect your marketing postcards to bring them a valuable offer on something they want or need.
The key is to use both direct mail and social media in the ways that work best for each medium, then combine them to boost your business standing as well as response to your marketing offers. You can:
- Double-team your audience with co-promotions using one or more of your social channels and direct mail.
- Use direct mail to encourage recipients to engage with you on Facebook or Twitter.
- Back up your postcard promoting piano lessons with an invitation to watch and listen to your YouTube mini-concert.
- Direct postcard recipients to YouTube to see an introductory video. Or invite them to Pinterest to see more mouth-watering photos of your latest restaurant dishes, landscape installations, homes for sale, camping equipment or menswear. Or, yes, real patients offering real smiles or clients showing off your latest hair-do innovations.
- Use social media to stay in contact with new leads and customers. Share your latest news, or retweet something with a “thought you’d like to see this.”
- Create a Facebook promotion asking fans what offer they would most like to see on your next postcard.
- Create a joint promotion with direct mail and Facebook that offers rewards for referrals.
- Are you using direct mail to announce your Grand Opening as a new business or your move to a new location? Invite recipients to check out your online virtual tour as a sneak preview, then bring your postcard to the event to enter your drawing.
- Promote your social media presence. You can’t interact with people who don’t know you’re there.
- Use social analytics to learn what’s on the minds of your customers, so you can create better-targeted offers and mailing lists for your direct mail.
We all prefer to do business with people we know and like.
Like your website, well-developed social profiles help prospects learn more about your business and get a feel for your personality. The things you post and share help humanize your business, you and your staff. Whoever your prospects are, they crave that personal connection. If you’re a hands-on professional such as a doctor or dentist, massage technician, even a hair stylist, you must do this to build trust and confidence in potential clients or patients.
To succeed, you need a plan.
Don’t treat direct mail as something separate from your other marketing. Yes, you may use it as your primary source of new clients year round, but because it’s so useful as a complement to other marketing techniques, you’ll want to officially build it into your plan. So get out your editorial calendar and look it over. Where can you add direct mail to augment social-based informational or promotional campaigns?