So you’re working on a marketing plan bring in more customers and increase sales for your small business. GREAT!
No doubt your marketing plan includes:
Website & SEO – Right On, Check!
Social Media – Absolutely, Check!
Email Marketing – Hit Send, Check!
Direct Mail? – Little “Old-Fashioned” for me, thanks anyway.
You should consider direct mail. In fact, direct mail is a very solid base on which to build your marketing plan.
Direct Mail is a Proven Winner for finding customers. While the overall volume of mail handled by the Post Office has declined over the years, volume of marketing mail has remained steady and effective.
With less clutter in a customer’s mailbox, your direct mail marketing will stand out. But how does direct mail stack up against the internet, search engine optimization, social media, email marketing?
Website & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most businesses these days have a website. Some of these websites are good, some great, some downright horrible!
Many never get found or seen by customers due to a nonexistent or ineffective SEO strategy. There are many factors that go into being found on sites like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc., including blogging, back linking and pay-per-click advertising. If you are not prepared to make a commitment of both time and money for a strong SEO strategy, it is unlikely your website will generate sales.
A well-targeted direct mail piece will absolutely be seen by the customer who receives it, guaranteed! Resulting sales generated by an effective direct mail advertising campaign are immediate.
Social Media marketing through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In and the next, NEXT BIG THING are always hot topics around the marketing water cooler, and for good reason. Millions of people are visiting social media websites every day. They’re “liking”‘, “pinning”, “linking in”, watching videos, searching for long-lost old flames, etc. But are they buying? Maybe.
Social Media is a great way to spread the word about someone or something. Getting people talking, creating a BUZZ. However, when given the choice between BUZZ & BUCKS most business owners choose the latter!
As with SEO, there are strategies – both free and paid – that will affect the impact of your social media marketing efforts. And of course there is the investment of your time.
No doubt as a small business owner, time is the one thing you do NOT have enough of!
The creation and implementation of a direct mail campaign is pretty straightforward. A targeted audience of potential customers, a compelling, irresistible offer and a little help from a direct mail marketing professional , you do not need to spend very much of your own precious time.
What about Email Marketing?
Sure, you can (and should) use email marketing. It is a great way to communicate offer and events to people you already do business with. But keep in mind, customers who do not know you react very differently to an email message than they do a piece of direct mail. Unlike an image flickering on a computer screen, a direct mail piece is engaging and memorable. An envelope or self-mailer brochure needs to be opened, a catalog flipped through and a postcard flipped over. The customer is in direct, actual physical contact with your advertising campaign.
Another big factor to consider – email marketing is relatively inexpensive so everybody and their brother is filling Inboxes with of all types of offers – some relevant, some not-so-relevant and some unfit to view in mixed company! Legitimate, Opt-in email lists are hard to come by and not inexpensive. However illegitimate, spam lists are cheap and plentiful, so buyers beware!
Do You Still Think Direct Mail Marketing is Old-Fashioned? It is! (But in a good way!)
Customer LIKE receiving relevant mail in their mailbox. Even some younger customers you’d assume might not! According to a recent study conducted by InnoMedia, NuStats, and Vertis, 87% of Gen Y and 86% of Gen X bring in the mail the day it’s delivered. 73% of Gen Y and 68% of Gen X retail direct mail readers have used coupons received in the mail. Gen X and Y consumers rate 75% of the mail they receive as valuable.
The act of reaching customers directly at their mailbox allows for a more thoughtful, memorable introduction to your business. Once they start to read through your mailer they begin the knowing, liking and trusting you and your business.
This inevitably leads prospective customers to become paying customers. So if Old-Fashioned marketing means marketing that leads to finding new customers and increased sales – call me old-fashioned!
To be clear, I am a big fan of digital marketing channels. Heck, the tag line of my company is Blended Marketing Solutions – my term for integrated marketing .
Due to the relative ease of implementation, the target-ability and effectiveness of direct mail, business owners should put direct mail marketing at the top of their marketing TO-DO List.