If you create an email blast that asks your contacts to do something (like call you, fill out a form on your website, or take advantage of an offer), make sure you have that high up in the email. A good rule of thumb is that your call to action should appear right away, when someone opens your email. If someone has to scroll to find it, it’s in the wrong place. It’s the same philosophy as the old newspaper theory that the stories “above the fold” are those which get the most attention.
With so many of the us depending on the internet to stay tuned into what's going on in our lives and in the world, it's no wonder that direct mail, or "direct classic" as the industry sometimes refers to it, has become an afterthought for small business marketing strategies. Postage is getting more and more expensive. Plus, email delivery and online communications are near immediate compared to the time it takes to go through the production, proofing, printing, and mailing process.
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While this is obviously more of a guideline than a hard-fast rule, if nothing else it should show you where your efforts need to be placed when undertaking a direct mail marketing campaign. Too often, business owners will spend an inordinate amount of time on coming up with the flashiest, snazziest, most eye-catching design that they are sure will blow everyone away, and then rush to put together the offer and/or the list of folks to send it to. It’s one of the most common mistakes of a mail marketing campaign.
Your social media strategy is more than just a Facebook profile or Twitter feed. When executed correctly, social media is a powerful customer engagement engine and web traffic driver. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype and create profiles on every single social site. This is the wrong approach. What you should do instead is to focus on a few key channels where your brand is most likely to reach key customers and prospects. This chapter will teach you how to make that judgment call.
Neil O’Keefe, senior vice president of marketing and content at the Data & Marketing Association, says that marketers began questioning direct mail’s endurance in 2007. That year, Statista reports that smartphone sales jumped 70% from the previous year to $8.7 billion. At the same time, the volume of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service began to plummet: In 2006, people in the U.S. sent 213.1 billion pieces of mail, according to USPS; by 2017, they were sending 149.5 billion pieces each year, a 29.9% decline. By this point, smartphone sales had reached $55.6 billion. The price of postage and paper had skyrocketed, as did the number of internet users—everything seemed to hammer a nail into direct mail’s coffin.
While perhaps not as splashy as other forms of marketing, direct mail marketing is one of the most cost-effective, minimally intrusive form of advertising. By using the proper research tools, companies can send their messages directly to specific demographics, targeting the most likely customers. Using creative strategies, direct mail companies can grab the attention of their ideal consumers and entice them to do purchase goods or services.
Historically, it has been difficult to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns because target markets cannot be adequately defined. Email marketing carries the benefit of allowing marketers to identify returns on investment and measure and improve efficiency. Email marketing allows marketers to see feedback from users in real time, and to monitor how effective their campaign is in achieving market penetration, revealing a communication channel's scope. At the same time, however, it also means that the more personal nature of certain advertising methods, such as television advertisements, cannot be captured.
Julie Ewald recommends moving away from sending generic content to your whole email list via e-blast entirely. With a little elbow grease, you can utilize segmentation and start sending off tailored messages to each of your lists with content that’s relevant, valuable, and designed to resonate with the kind of recipients that make up each segment.
Testimonials – If you work with contractors or freelancers, you can reach out to them to offer your testimonials in exchange for a link. Moreover, if you are using consultants’ or specialists’ services, you can also do the same as you do with contractors. Lastly, if there are customers who are happy with your product or service offering and they do not mind you linking to their site, this could be a good opportunity for your business.