Direct mail marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing and has remained a popular way of reaching out to customers for a long time. Product catalogs, sales flyers, brochures, newsletters and sales letters have long since been regular in our inboxes.
With the advent of social media the manner in which marketers connect with customers, prospects and wider public has changed. Customers seek to experience marketing campaigns in drastically different and creative ways. Social networks have brought everything out into the public domain. They have an enormous ‘amplifier’ effect and have changed the dynamics of advertising.
Traditional media channels now face fierce competition from popular bloggers, social media ‘influencers’, and the undeniable ‘meme’ effect of social networking sites. Ideas, opinions and views bubble up from the blogosphere and can diminish, override or supplement your marketing message. So how do traditional forms of advertising appeal to, and incorporate, social media in their outreach?
Direct marketing involves costs for printing, publishing material and postage. In spite of the costs involved, statistics show direct mail is still hugely successful in coaxing customers to reach for their wallets. Direct mail marketing when coupled with effective online marketing yields impressive results.
Let’s see how a cross pollination of these two very divergent forms of advertising can be attained for a perfect sales pitch.
Social Media Should Be Promoted in Your Direct Mail
All direct mail communication including brochures, sales letters and coupons should prominently display your social media icons. Giving your customers these options helps you connect with them on their terms. A company or seller with no online identity can be a scary proposition for today’s customers. An online address increases your credibility and gives you a tangible existence, essential for building customer confidence.
Keep in mind to link the customer to your business account and not to a personal social media account. Online social interaction should provide an experience that supports your business. You should use not just social media logos but also include your Twitter handle and Facebook username in your mail. This ensures your customers do not have to put in additional effort to search your account.
Update Your Social Media Pages
Social networking requires patience, time and sincere interaction with other users. You need to look at your social networking activity as an opportunity to meet friends, associates, customers, and future clients and partners. These interactions provide you a wonderful opportunity to engage with people effectively.
Blatant advertising on your Facebook and Twitter pages can be a big turn-off for your fans and followers. Your content needs to be relevant, timely, interesting and engaging. Friendly messages, questions and conversation starters help you build chatter. You need to be active and consistent with your postings on Facebook and update your twitter at least 4-5 times a day, and actively participate in ensuing conversations.
Here are some essential tips for having an engaging online presence:
- Successful, engaging and effective online social communication requires you to be an intent and keen listener. You need to keep a tab on the conversations and chatter taking place in your niche and contribute actively. Being in the know about your customers’ problems, interests, opinions and needs helps you formulate effective, relevant and quality content.
- Good quality content always trumps quantity in social media universe. Amazing content gets shared quickly and travels across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and gets mentioned in your audience’s blogs as well. The wide sharing and discussion of your content ensures search engines like Google suggest it in keyword searches. This in turn opens up thousands of opportunities for people to find you online.
- You should always respond to questions and comments promptly and genuinely value every user interaction. Your commitment towards building a loyal audience will help you engage your customers better. Your focus should always be on building relationships and networking with your community.
- While interacting on social platforms you need to be selfless and giving. You should try to share the best and most relevant content. You need to read up on what others are writing, contribute to their discussions and share content published by them as well. Reciprocate the support and attention you get from your audience.
Add as Much Contact Info as Possible
Direct marketing mail lands in the customers’ mailboxes and like all other postal communication it is essential you don’t remain anonymous to your recipient. Your websites and social media platforms need to be placed prominently along with all other communication details. Your signature should ideally contain your personal and company details, as well as your contact information.
Social Media Sites Should Add to Your Direct Mail Campaign
You can use your social media sites to speak about your direct mail campaign as well. Social media can be used to create anticipation by letting the customers know when they are about to get free coupons, offers, discounts or the latest catalogs. Make it a point to post about your latest direct mail content and unique offers. Tweet about your newsletters and attractive catalogs. Also keep an opt-in option on social media sites for your fans and followers to sign up for direct mail from your company.
Add in a Bit of Novelty
QR codes add a much-needed element of mystery and excitement to bland direct marketing mails. Quick Response codes can be scanned by customers on their tablets or smartphones, and they are immediately redirected to your website or social media page. You can plan exciting discounts or offers which makes the whole process interesting and rewarding to customers. The QR codes and surprise rewards should be different and unique in each periodical communication you send out. The landing pages can also be customized to make each experience novel. If not offers or discounts, informative newsletters or free e-books can also make their effort seem worthwhile to customers. Adding a touch of creativity to your marketing plan can help you win customer loyalty and build brand value.
New-age marketing campaigns demand seamless and smart integration of all marketing channels. Direct mail marketing has a longer shelf life as compared to online communication which can disappear in one click. Social media is extremely powerful because of its reach and influence. Proper and well-thought out marketing strategy helps integrate direct mail marketing and social media for optimal business gains.
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