Everyone is active on spoonfuls of social media networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to name a few. You name it, we’ve tired them. In fact, social media has transformed the way direct marketers know how to drive results. They’ve been building business with it for years. With a time-tested, scientific approach to reach target demographics, direct marketers have turned TV, mail and email into sales engines. Imagine what you could accomplish if you could combine a successful direct marketing campaign with the power of social media? That’d be impressive. Here’s how you do it.

Direct Mail

Mail campaigns are still one of the most effective ways to reach new customers and grow your business. A survey conducted by the Association for Education in Journalism this past year found that readers of the print version of newspapers remembered “significantly more” news than those who read the same content online. In other words, the physical paper resonates far more with readers than the electronic version. The same can be said about direct mail vs. email.

A direct mail campaign will only be as good as the contacts you reach and the contents of the mailings. There are companies that provide mailing lists targeted specifically to just about every demographic out there. The lists are relatively inexpensive as well, but paying the extra premium for a more up-to-date and target-specific list will pay off in the long run. The mailer should always include your company slogan and insignia, along with Web site and social media addresses. The contents should get right to the point, but include as much information as you feel is necessary to convey the message. A special offer or some sort of coupon code within the contents is the best way to get immediate responses and will help you track the success of your campaign overall. The envelopes can be made to look more professional and personal by using something like Pitney Bowes postage meters and printing the postage directly on the envelope, as opposed to using stamps.

Telemarketing

The stigma attached to telemarketing, along with growing “do-not-call” lists, have caused many companies to abandon the practice altogether. But a well conceived phone campaign, with a good list of numbers, can be just as effective as email. Calling customers and simply asking them to take a quick survey is an easy way to get feedback and offer them some sort of incentive or discount to purchase something on their next visit.

Marketing Software

The ways in which people communicate have changed significantly over the past decade. In 1990, you either picked up a telephone, sent a letter, or a fax to interact with customers. Today there are so many new channels, including mobile Web and social media, which make it difficult for some companies to consistently and seamlessly deliver messages to their customers. For instance, your company name shouldn’t appear in blue font on your email campaign and appear in red on direct mail. The company Web site also needs to be optimized for mobile phone viewing, so to not look completely different when viewed from a smart phone. Several companies, including Responsys and Eloqua, offer solutions which can address these issues. And with more of these companies establishing themselves everyday, prices for their services are getting more competitive, even for lower budget enterprises.

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