We’ve been spending some time looking into best practices and strategies of both product and service offerings via direct mail and social media. What did we find out? When using both in an integrated fashion, your message reaches further than if you were to send it separately.
There is little doubt that your donors and prospects are active on social media. After all, there are over 1 billion Facebook users, 200 million on LinkedIn and Twitter and 343 million using Google+ (Digital Marketing Ramblings [http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resource-how-many-peoople-use-the-top-social-media/]
In fact, a recent IBM study (http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/35631.wss) found that 82% of CMOs are planning on increasing their use of social media over the next 3-5 years. Yet, with all of this social media usage, you know what? more and more consumers, and, therefore, more and more of your donors and prospects, prefer to receive information from direct mail.
By including direct mail marketing into your social media strategy, you stand the chance of being uppermost in the minds and hearts of those you want to reach – your target audience.
First step: take inventory of your customer data. While it is true that not everyone who connects with you socially will be on your mailing list or vice versa, for sure some, perhaps even many, will be in both categories.
- When you ask for a mailing address, ask for the individual’s Twitter handle also. That enables you to send out both personal tweets and direct messages while gathering valuable information on that particular donor or prospect.
- Monitor your social interactions. The data you receive will let you segment your content to the needs of your supporters resulting in them seeing value in what you offer.
- When you send out direct mail always include social information to tease any social promotions you have going on. You can then measure the results of different campaigns and get a better idea of what your supporters respond to from a campaign point of view.
- Tweet and post status updates that encourage your social media fans to sign up for your mailing list. Make sure you add a direct mail only value, otherwise they won’t see how signing up is of benefit to them personally.
When you do this, you will begin to have a basic understanding of what media your contacts are most comfortable using. You can then begin to plan your messaging and strategy. Be creative! Offer incentives for them to get involved – a coupon, a freebie, or anything of perceived value.
Drawing a blank? Here are some tips for integrating direct mail and social media messaging for greater response:
- host a contest and cross-promote it all of your social media sites as you announce the contest to those on your mailing list with a postcard;
- send a direct mail piece that announces a deal only for those who “like” you on Facebook. Keep track of the “likes.” Allow those “likers” to print the coupon or use the coupon code you have provided. Allow the coupon owner to share it.
- think about using a QR Code with your direct mail piece to take the recipient to your landing page offer. Then give an incentive such as 10% off on your offer.
Remember, multi-channel marketing like this is impactful. Making multiple social appeals along with a direct mail approach will bring results.