Tag Archives: direct mail

Where’s the Bat Signal when you need it?

“Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”

I was hanging out with my younger sister the other day. She’s 19 and pretty much attached to her phone at all times. Watching her constantly text and Facebook (guess it’s a verb now, huh?) reminded me of a news report I read a few months back.

http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/2009/09/08/trapped-girls-update-facebook-instead-of-calling-cops/

Above is the link but the gist of the story is this:  two young girls in Australia, ages 12 and 10, got stuck in a storm drain. Instead of using their cellphone to call emergency services, they asked for help by updating their facebook status. Only once a friend saw the update and alerted emergency services were the girls saved.

Wow.

I know that I’ve heralded the benefits of social networking on this blog. But wow. Sure these tools can have a great and important sociological, political, journalistic…and marketing… impact, but I so hope we don’t lose sight of the big picture. Common sense is still needed. There is no magic bullet, no one way to do everything. Twitter can’t sell all your products. And Facebook won’t always save your life. So let’s keep direct mail and 911 fresh in our thoughts, ok?

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Filed under Misc., Social Marketing

Direct Mail: Make it a Keeper

mmm cable

I find that when I research marketing strategies, I tend to come at it from a consumer point of view. I feel I’m an intelligent and discerning person, and what with being involved in the industry, I also feel that I’m immune to many of the advertising tactics used today. Wrooooong. When I analyze what has worked on me in the past, I’m often surprised at how frequently I emotionally and monetarily respond to advertising. Particularly to direct mail (yes, the Cox Communications brochure I received in my new mover mail package convinced me to purchase not only internet, but cable for my new apartment. VH1 and Hulu are my new best friends).

DM can get a bad rap but really, it’s the cornerstone of any marketing campaign. If done right, it can make a world of difference. I was trying to pinpoint what exactly it is about direct mail that works so well on me. In my online soul search, I stumbled across About.com’s article, “Brochure Marketing: 12 Tips on How to Do it Effectively” and realized that there’s one strategy on there that I think is particularly genius.

Make it a Keeper
Putting helpful information in your brochure will encourage the reader to keep it, refer to it often or pass it on to other people. If you’re selling paint you can provide hints on color schemes, painting how-to information, tips from the pros etc. If you’re selling skin care products you can give your readers tips on how to combat pimples, dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles.”

From a consumer standpoint, it’s so basic and makes so much sense that I even forget that it’s an actual marketing “strategy.” But it totally works. I’m one of those people who is always looking for the clues to clear skin. Give me a list of tips and that thing is going on my nightstand for at least a week or so. Maybe even taped to my bathroom mirror. Even if I don’t buy at that time, your marketing department can put a big old check next to your “Increase Brand Awareness” goal.

Like I said, I know that this is a pretty ordinary tactic when it comes to direct mail. But in an era of social media, email blasts and living green(though people will be really impressed and heartwarmed if you print on recycled paper!), I think it’s important that people realize that direct mail is not dead. It still works. My 100+ tv channels and my medicine cabinet full of pore cleanser are proof of that.

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“Follow us on…”

Everyone is telling you to market through social media, aren’t they? It feels like you can’t listen to an advertisement these days without hearing “OR follow us on…” Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter and/or youtube, it seems like half the content of every marketing campaign consists of URL addresses. The thing is, it works. There’s a reason that social marketing has exploded in the way that it has. You can follow the biggest companies, the savviest politicians, and the most up-to-date news on the same medium where you can find out what your sister-in-law had for dinner last night.

This is all common knowledge, but it wasn’t until I took the reigns of social marketing for GoLeads that I realized how intricate, confusing, and exciting this world could be. It kind of feels like online dating, doesn’t it? You have a few paragraphs to promote what you offer, while seeming personable, humorous, interesting AND attractive. That’s a lot of pressure!

I’ll admit, I’m tempted to just crawl back into the world of direct mail, telemarketing, email blasts and call it good! But we have to start combining all of them together. Look for new ways to market and be seen. As a business excited about what we have to sell and about the services we provide, we want to promote ourselves as widely as possible and it’s just a fact that combining all forms of marketing allows you to reach more people and create more connections than you ever thought possible. In conjunction with telemarketing and direct mail, social media provides a no hassle and immediate way to get in direct contact with those who have questions and concerns about your business.

But I am by no means an expert. Like I said, this is all new to me too. And I only felt comfortable jumping in after reading blog upon blog and marketing article upon marketing article. And I’m still trying to figure it all out. It seems that a lot of small businesses feel this way as well. I think that this blog can be a useful learning tool for both of us.

By checking in with me, you’ll be able to learn from my triumphs and failures(!), all while I provide you with all the invaluable marketing, business and social media tricks and treats(sorry, I’m in a seasonal mood) I find during my journey. And please share tips you come across or experiences you’ve had!

Here’s a tip to get going from http://http://www.bloggingtips.com/2008/12/31/10-blogging-tips-for-2009-to-make-it-your-most-successful-blogging-year-ever/ :

“Blogging Tip #5: Comment on Other Popular Blogs in Your Niche. Make relevant posts on other authority blogs in your niche. The key word here is r-e-l-e-v-a-n-t”

Alright, here goes…

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