Monday, July 6, 2015

Direct mail, even more important in the age of digital?

Direct mail marketing campaigns remain a standard practice for many entrepreneurs. Its effectiveness and proven track record are evidenced by its long, widespread usage and the encouraging results. 

It's an attractive option to small businesses, as a direct mail campaign offers reliable returns and convenient tracking via coupons.

Print offers a tangible product delivered to your customers’ front door. You're guaranteed to have eyes on your message, and there are different types you can use to avoid monotony - postcards, letters, brochures, or even, depending on your budget and business type, product samples, coupon books, and promotional items. 

If you're on a tight budget, post cards are an effective advertising tactic and cost less to mail than larger print items. 

Even in a digital age, some still do not own a computer, and a significant portion of the population only uses them in the course of employment or business. Not everyone surfs Facebook or Yelp. A direct mail advertising campaign can engage those who may never see a digital ad. With a mailing list, you are directly targeting your customers, without having to buy ad space from Google or pay for SEO. 

Michelle Van Slyke, vice president of marketing at The UPS Store, says this about direct mail marketing: “The results are trackable, and both our franchisees and their small business customers who have used it have seen results—new customers and repeat business.” She continues, “A direct mail piece stands out. It gets noticed, it gets read, and its offers and coupons get used.”

You're more likely to drive traffic to your business if your customers have a coupon in hand. You can time your sales and promotions to coincide with major events and holidays, when people are more apt to spend money.

What's more, print can include, and help you drive, your digital presence. Be sure to include your website, email, Facebook page, Twitter handle, Instagram profile, and any other platforms your business is present on. You can include a QR code with your contact details to make it easier for potential customers to store your contact information digitally.

Mail is familiar. The postal service is a long-standing institution in most countries. Some people may be skeptical about email messages or other digital advertising, and would be more receptive to direct mail, which they're more comfortable with. 

Ideally, combine traditional print media with digital advertising and marketing to get actual eyes on your message, instill confidence in your product, and drive your customer base.

You'll not only see an increase in customers, but word of mouth becomes a factor when your target demographic uses your service or product and begins to share their feedback. Use print to grow your initial base and drive your digital campaign. The results will speak for themselves. 

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