Monday, May 24, 2010

Direct Mail and Social Media

Many marketers these days are trying to find the right balance between digitial channels and what I will call the "traditional" channels (direct mail in particular).  The proper mix depends on the specific offering and audience, requiring plenty of testing to find what works.  Marketers should include social media information along with direct mail (or print ad) efforts to notify the audience of their online presence.  A very small percentage of prospects typically respond immediately to direct mail campaigns.  This leaves a larger percentage of prospects who are interested, but can't respond right away for one reason or another.  These potential buyers are the ones that should be pushed to a marketer's social media efforts to stay in touch with the brand.

Invite this group of "will buy, but not right now" prospects to join a corporate Facebook page, follow the brand on Twitter or sign up for RSS news feeds on your website.  These potential buyers will continue to become familiar with the company's offering and expertise, hopefully, pushing them toward a purchase.

Another option is to consider using PURLs to boost response direct mail rates. A PURL (personalized URL) is a customized landing page for each mail piece recipient and can become your company’s custom entry site to an online relationship of frequent social contact and email.

By adding relevant data and PURLs to mail pieces, marketers can see response rates shoot up beyond the typical 2%.  Offering prospects a personalized URL allows marketers to track visits, collect additional data about interests, and direct them to new channels of communication.  Add links to the brand's social media accounts on the bottom of the personalized landing page. This will add legitimacy to a campaign and opens the door to a continued relationship.

When a prospect takes the effort to act from an offline direct mail piece to an online landing page form and then connects with the brand via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. a marketer is left with a very valuable potential customer.  These prospects have shown interest by taking action across channels.  This sequence of events is much more relevant to a brand than someone who liked a corporate Tweet and is now a follower or is simply a follower to stay current on the marketplace.

(Image: TN Media Solutions)

1 comment:

  1. Michael,

    Excellent advice. I had planned to cover PURLs in the course - glad to hear you are ware of how to use them.