Have you ever reached into your mailbox and left with a handful of direct mail coupons and flyers? While once these physical advertisements might have made sense for a small business, it’s no longer the most viable solution.
In recent years, online marketing has become a much better approach for small businesses and marketing agencies to draw new clients. Compared to traditional marketing efforts, digital marketing is less expensive and more effective. Direct mail is one of those traditional marketing efforts that is dwindling in popularity—and with good reason.
Direct mail advertising includes promotional letters, advertising circulars, coupon envelopes, “pre-approved” credit card applications, postcards, samples, self-mailers, and other printed promotional or merchandising materials. Surveys indicate that direct mail is losing ground to electronic alternatives such as email, social media, search, and mobile marketing.
Direct mail is also extremely expensive, with campaigns costing up to $3,000 to $10,000 and conversion rates with new customers are less than 1%. It’s no surprise then that print-based direct mail has declinee from 57% to 51% from 2015 to 2018.
Price pressure, postage cost increases, and the level of investment required to remain competitive, are the toughest challenges for anyone still considering direct mail marketing. To set up a costly campaign, you’d have to purchase a list of addresses, the postcard, hire a designer, pay for printing the end product, and then have to spend the money on the postage itself!
The goal of any campaign—whether it’s email, social media, or direct mail—is to attract new leads that will eventually be converted to customers. Successful campaigns are able to target a specific audience with a personalized message for that consumer. Direct mail campaigns are not able to do either, while email and social media can.
Though targeted or personalized mailings sent to a smaller subset of prospects may not be a good fit for high-volume direct mail providers, there is a way that you as a social media marketing agency owner can benefit from direct mail providers. In this article I’m going to be going over why direct mail isn’t the right choice for your clients, but why you should still pay attention to the mailers that you’re receiving in your own mailbox.
How To Measure Direct Mail Campaign Success—You Can’t!
Data analytics are an enormous challenge for mailers, both for the targeting and personalization of direct mail, as well as understanding how direct mail fits into multichannel marketing campaigns. To evaluate the success of any campaign, a marketer will need to be able to analyze tangible, measurable results through data and analytics.
The data retrieved can reveal to a marketer what worked and what needs to be changed in order to improve the campaign and to increase customer conversion rights. This is what gives digital marketing such an edge over traditional marketing like direct mailers—almost every platform has an analytics tool that helps you evaluate your campaign.
Google analytics, Facebook Pixel, and Ad Words are just a few examples of tools that can be used to monitor the success of a business’s marketing efforts. Direct mail campaigns do not have any way to measure this information.
Direct Mail is Time Consuming and Expensive
Not only do direct mail campaigns tend to have very low conversion rates—with approximately only a one-tenth of one percent success rate (that means 1 out of 1000 flyers that are sent out actually convert a new customer)—but they are also very time consuming.
Email delivery and online social media communications are nearly immediate compared to the time it takes to produce, proof, print, and mail a physical mailer. While postage for mailing 10,000 units could cost up to $3,200, an email campaign that reaches the same amount of people can cost as low as $100. Social media posts can reach the same amount of people or more with no out of pocket cost. Even though Facebook Ads costs are increasing, you could still reach a similar size audience for under $40.
Direct mail is also limited in what can be used to engage the audience. No matter how visually stimulating an image on a postcard or the wording of the text, the creative is not as powerful as a format like video. Video is one of the most popular forms of advertising and is by far the most shared, and it is not possible for direct mail to integrate video like an email or social media post can.
How We Get Clients With Direct Mail Ads
While direct mail ads are no longer the best marketing strategy for your clients, your social media marketing agency can benefit from seeing who is sending out mailers in your local community. As an agency owner, you can use these types of ads that are sent to your house to prospect new marketing agency clients.
Direct mail ads are a perfect source of leads in your local area for your agency for a number of reasons. You already know that the businesses sending out mailers are willing to spend on marketing because they are currently spending on print ads. You can also assume that they wish they were spending less money for better results. Print media is difficult to track results and super expensive to execute.
You already know they have an interest in marketing and a budget, so all you’ll have to do is reach out to them—using, for instance, a cold email template—to let them know how you can help them increase their conversion rates with more effective online marketing strategies.
Not every business that sends you a mailer may be right for your agency, so you should do some research on the company before reaching out. Check to see if they’re in your niche, what they’re currently doing in terms of an online presence etc.
To make the most of the direct mail ads you receive and to use them for lead generation, make sure you:
- Check your mail for weekly ads
- Sign up to get your local ‘Money Mailer’ issue
- Check for other mailers
- Create a list of potential business prospects from the mailer
- Save the ads for each of the prospects
- Create a plan to reach out to each prospect—this can include sending out cold emails, or something more advanced, such as sending them a free social media audit
Utilizing direct mail ads is just one way that you can find new, qualified leads for your social media marketing agency. However, there’s still a lot of work you’ll have to put in to turn those leads into clients. The challenge of running a social media marketing agency is in staying determined and in putting in the hours.
If you’re ready to learn more about how to run your own social media marketing agency and land clients, then enroll in our Digital Marketing School today! You can also follow Cereal Entrepreneur on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for helpful content daily, and visit our blog for more FREE training.