We live in a new era with email, social media, and Google as the big contenders for our attention and advertising dollars. And with good reason; a lot of people are online now.
In addition, social media, content, and email marketing are considered to be “free”, so everyone uses them. After all, being able to market for no cost is much better than spending a lot of money on “snail mail”, right?
It's not quite that simple…
Because of the changing tides, direct mail campaigns have been fewer and fewer. Where a few years ago, your mailbox would have been stuffed with credit card offers, brochures, magalogs, etc… Now it is far less common.
On top of that, we pay most, if not all, of our bills online as well. So there may be two or three-day stretches where your postal mailbox is completely empty.
What does that mean for you? Full reign over someone's mailbox, meaning virtually no direct competition. Imagine how much of an impact that could have on your bottom line!
So today we're going to talk about why Direct Mail (DM) should still be on your radar…
Why you only need a little effort to have a huge impact on your business…
And how you can get 3x the response as email with just a few special tweaks to your system…
Direct Mail Isn't Dead
Remember the statistic I brought up in the beginning? A Market Scan study suggests, “the figure for available email addresses is around 20% of postal addresses.” That leaves 80% of prospects you can't put into an online funnel.
On top of that, only 45% of senior citizens have internet service, as of last year. That's a lot of market left over!
If you want to reach the widest audience possible, you have to consider using Direct Mail in your marketing strategy, as part of an overall “multi-channel” marketing strategy. In fact, one of the top marketers today has started to do just that:
A colleague of mine had lunch with Darcy Juarez of GKIC (Glazer Kennedy Inner Circle). She is famous for being the “queen of automation.” When she was initially hired, she revamped their whole marketing system to maximize Infusionsoft (their CRM), email marketing, and segmenting to optimize results.
And her efforts were very effective.
However, when they had lunch recently, she mentioned that her email inbox is completely unmanageable now; she is barely able to get through it all. Yet, there are huge stretches where she goes to her mailbox and sees absolutely nothing. Just like I mentioned earlier.
So, GKIC is reintroducing Direct Mail into their system. And, I must say, as someone in their marketing funnel, I have been seeing a lot more postcards from them.
(Note: You should always get your name on the list of competitors in your field. You have to know what they are doing and how they are marketing themselves at all times. It will give you valuable insight into trends and what's working or not.)
Anyway, the reason DM is so effective now is because it is tangible; you can hold it. You have to manipulate physical mail with your own two hands to get rid of it, or else it stays in your presence.
Even if you love an email message and want to keep it, it could easily be pushed aside by twenty more that come in the same day. Yet, as I speak, I'm looking at a postcard on my desk right now for a Dan Kennedy event, and I know exactly when it is, where it is, and what I have to do to attend (if I so desire).
No other marketing material is getting that kind of attention from me right now.
How to Implement DM With Little Extra Work
What everyone loves about digital marketing is you can “set it and forget it.” Once you've created your automated system, all you have to do is tweak it every month to optimize conversions. There's upfront effort with writing autoresponders, landing pages, etc… but that's it.
And here's some surprising news: Direct Mail can be automated, too.
Most people think you have to put in a lot more effort to incorporate DM into your marketing plan. After all, you have to think about style, layout, format, etc… Then printing and mailing!
However, once the copy is written and those other elements are decided, you can add that into your automated system. Once set, your prospects will receive the DM piece you crafted at the same point in your funnel every single time. Just like email.
How? CRM software. And a good relationship with a printing/mailing company.
The marketing manager I work with always uses a three-step campaign for his clients when selling tickets to events. In his automated system, there is an initial email sent out, then a postcard, and finally a voicemail phone call (which is a topic for another discussion).
This simple system has worked wonders for his clients, putting a lot of butts into seats. (And, as an Expertpreneur™, you should be speaking at, or hosting events too!)
It all works as an ecosystem – the email is the first connection point with your event invitation. Then the postcard gives a really personal touch and keeps you in their minds, because it's physically in front of them.
Not to mention, with today's technology, the postcard can have a QR code (or a standard web link) to link them to a special page on your website – perhaps a free video. This keeps them constantly connected to you and consuming your content.
Finally you can follow up with a sales offer. It could be an email with a link to a sales page, a formal printed invitation to an
event, a phone call or recorded voicemail – you name it! The more creative and unusual the better.
Believe it or not, Direct Mail is still the leading method of B2C marketing, with the highest conversion rates. In 2012, DM clocked in at a whopping 4.4% response rate compared to 0.12% for email, according to Direct Mail News.You won't necessarily have to pay for a list, because you already have names and contact information on your list. That is usually the most expensive part of DM. All you have to pay for is simple printing and mailing. And, you'll get measurable results.
That's certainly worth the investment, isn't it?
Techniques to Get Results
There are many ways you can craft Direct Mail pieces to really grab your clients' attention. While I can't possibly get through all of them in one blog post, here are a few of the most important to start:
1) An Irresistible Offer – We all know the power of a deal; especially one with a time limit. If you are selling a product or service and response has been low, try sending out a coupon or a limited-time bonus offer to ignite sales.
Not only will fence-sitters be tempted to jump on it, but those who haven't noticed your emails will now be aware of it. Sometimes it takes up to 5 attempts to get someone's attention!
2) Remain Congruent With Your Image – I've harped on this time and time again, but I'll say it once more; you must make sure your mail looks and sounds like you. It should carry over the look and feel that you use on your website, your logo, even your color scheme.
This works on two levels – First, if mail looks strange, people will throw it out. They won't even give it a chance. Second, it will reinforce you and your brand image. They will think, “Oh, this is the person I got that free report from. I should really look at that. This free video sounds cool, too.”
Only in an extreme case should you change things up, which I'll explain in a moment.
3) Don't Be Afraid to Stand Out – Again, think “congruent” as you read this. But, if you are really making a push to sell a product or tickets to an event, or perhaps a really high-ticket item, try doing something unorthodox. An oversized postcard, a very formal invitation (think wedding-like), maybe even an entire book!
There are a lot of really interesting stories of wacky marketing materials people have mailed out. Much of this type of direct mail includes three-dimensional items in the envelope, often referred to as “lumpy mail.” It can go overboard, but more often than not, it gets results. Really think outside of the box when going for the sale – you never know what could happen.
One final tip: you must follow up. It doesn't have to be with direct mail, though it can be. You want to keep that drip of marketing materials constantly flowing so they don't forget who you are. It takes time and energy to ingrain your business into someone's mind.
But once you do, with everything else we've been working on together, they will be a fan for life.
Reshape Your Plan for February
I know it sounds scary, but give it a try. Just start out small. You may be surprised with the results.
Start out with something simple like a postcard. Treat it like you would the second email in an autoresponder series – encourage them to consume your material, build up some new info you have to offer, or make a product or services offer. And don't forget to close with a link (or a QR code if you're feeling progressive).
You want them to take action once they read it; that's the key with any good copy. It should encourage a specific action. And the best part is you can track it.
Did the postcard get you any click-throughs? Did you get any feedback? More hits on your page?
Track, modify, and optimize every move, and you will find that your “multi-channel” marketing plan brings in more results than you ever imagined.