A couple of mentions around the marketing world by NextDayFlyers blog and MarketingPilgrim regarding the effectiveness of direct mail have got us thinking about the integration of print and social media campaigns. Some companies have reviewed the cost savings offered by digital communications compared to cost to print, mail and design mailers, letters and postcards and have begun shifting marketing dollars for those projects. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook and other channels can be cost-effective ways to build an online presence and connect with customers and prospects. But, let’s face it, social media ROI can be difficult to measure. For some businesses, an online-only strategy might be a shortsighted approach.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Are your prospects and customers online? It’s easy to assume that everyone is “plugged in” these days. Despite the meteoric rise in popularity of Twitter and Facebook, some people are not using them regularly and some not at all. Understand your audience and how they want to interact. Social media isn’t the best fit for all companies.
- Consumers are digitally saturated. The quantity of e-mails, tweets, blog posts and news articles the average consumer must sort through can be overwhelming. Relying only on communicating through these channels is taking a risk that your messages are glossed over or worse, sent directly to the trash file.
- Coordinate messages across mediums. Direct mail and social media can work in concert – extend your online messaging to coordinate with mail. Use direct mail to drive traffic to your Facebook fan page or Twitter account.
- No matter the method, the goal is to inspire action! The point made in the NextDayFlyers blog is well-taken. Using direct mail to solicit feedback is a great idea. Many companies are getting noticed for using Twitter for customer service purposes (notably among several is @comcastcares and @jetblue), but why not direct mail?
A marketing strategy should coordinate several channels. Here at SG, we blog, tweet, email and connect with prospects via snail mail. Oh, and in person, too! What is your company doing to create an integrated strategy?