There are a few disputes about marketing regarding what avenues a business needs to utilize and which are the most effective and profiting. But each time a new conclusion is drawn, something changes the game, a new social media outlet, a Google engine update, the next mobile device. The answer appears simple but daunting: Use them all. Email, postal mail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, can all help your marketing efforts. Just as each company is unique and feeds off the ingenuity of its various workers, the platform for reaching its audience is equally distinct. While it is essential for any business to use any many means of marketing as possible, spreading out too far can run the impact of its messages thin. A tighter focus on certain direct mail practices can produce personal messages that capture attention.
Today’s Definition for Direct Mail
There is no agreement on what direct mail marketing is. No longer limited to postal services, direct mail is attributed to emails and social media messages geared towards registered users. The service is not nearly as important as the directness of the message. An ad placed on the side of a website is not directed towards anyone; it is a billboard hoping to catch anyone’s attention that happens to glance over. Direct mail marketing focuses on speaking to people, treating them as human beings and getting as specific as possible.
The Most Personal Content
When people open their mailbox, it’s a game of tossing out the junk and searching through for anything worth keeping; the ultimate goal is to not appear as junk. With almost every company using typed up personalized addresses and names in letters to appear intimate, this approach is overdone and demands no more attention than the cluttered fliers and sales books they are tucked between. Appearing intimate is passé. Now companies must actually be intimate.
Companies wishing to make the most personal and direct approach toward a customer can try something both revolutionary and outdated: a handwritten note. No one trashes a handwritten envelope without opening it and if the content inside is just as personal it demands both attention and storage. Small-sized businesses can craft handwritten letters to customers and be sure they have their attention. Larger companies can utilize personal direct mail services that specialize in handwritten marketing. Newer companies like Handwritten Mailings even employ handwritten styled fonts that look indistinguishably real; while not as authentic, for large marketing campaigns this can be quite cost effective.
This solution can add a personal touch to direct mail initiatives, but more often than not, email is the de facto mode of communicating with current and potential customers. Faking a personal touch in email is possible, but earnestly communicating a personal touch that connects with customers is a more effective and meaningful interaction.
Can Emails Be Just As Personal?
Templates that focus on filling in names before they are blasted off are not very personal or direct. Real emails created by employees that know the company and the customers are. Comm100 points out that companies do better when incorporating personal information such as sales histories or location and gearing separate emails towards different geographical regions. These tips help businesses use a mass approach that incorporates direct elements and those techniques strike a more personal chord with the recipient, even if they are aware that it is the product of an analysis of volunteered personal information.
Managing Social Media
Companies can do very well reaching customers directly through handwritten letters and personalized emails, but managing social media is more difficult. For most businesses, an attempt to use every available social media platform will demand too many resources that only produce impersonal content. Marketing management companies such as ExactTarget offer social media services that can take care of the heavy lifting. The most crucial part in having a social media campaign stay direct and focused is working with a marketing company that gets to know the business, its philosophy and customer audience, developing a personal solution for directing content towards real people.
Using the Tools at Hand
In an ideal world, a business would be able to compose handwritten letters to each customer, additionally sending along personal emails and direct content through social media. Realistically, a business can follow through with many of these practices just not all the time. Handwritten letters can be saved for specific customers and the best-crafted emails for special events and updates. Better marketing begets more customers, which in turn can allow for more advanced marketing solutions and innovative ideas.