We’ve talked often in this blog about the virtues of integrating digital and offline tactics. Most recently, we discussed how direct mail and digital marketing can be combined to maximize overall marketing effectiveness. But what about social media and direct mail?
With over 750 million daily users on Facebook alone—and a bevy of analytical tools available to categorize, segment and target those users any which way you want—marketers are allocating more of their resources toward reaching potential customers on their preferred social platforms.
Too often, though, this transition is conducted as an either/or approach—with an attempt to target only certain demos on social media while continuing to target legacy mail lists with traditional tactics only. Unfortunately, that narrow approach can result in a lot of missed opportunities.
A multi-channel approach that works
Because consumers engage with a variety of media daily, it only makes sense to engage them across multiple channels. Direct mail and social media can complement one another in a lot of ways. For example, you can:
When used together, both channels can make current marketing more effective while delivering valuable insights for future campaigns. Here are just three great ways to start:
1. Upload your direct mail list to better target social ads
Social sites like Facebook make it easy to upload your existing physical mail list to find ideal matches within their user database. Facebook’s Direct Response Advertising platform walks you through exactly how this works and how to choose the right ad types for your goals.
By matching information from your physical address list to social media users, you can create more targeted ads tailored to those prospects most likely to visit your site.
2. Use social data to improve direct mail targeting
Online and offline data sharing goes both ways. Just as your direct mail information can enhance your social outreach, social data can be used to improve direct mail list. Since those who click on your social ads have already expressed interest, it’s easier to leverage that interest to gather offline information.
Consider embedding pixels in your social ads that click through to a dedicated landing page featuring not only your offer, but also a field for entering a mailing address. Privacy is always an issue, of course, so make sure the offer or incentive to submit such information is adequate. Once you have their physical address, you can send direct mail with the same look and feel as your social media ads to reinforce your message and boost response.
3. Gain valuable insights into what works
If all that feels too intrusive for the campaign you’re promoting, you can still use the social media analytics you capture to refine your targeting. Study the demographics, behaviors and click-through data to better segment your list, focus your messaging and strengthen your creative.
Social sites like Facebook let you delve down into basic demographics—education, interests, buying behavior and more—to create relevant messaging and offers that speak directly to them. Target online and offline marketing accordingly and track which messages and visuals work best with that audience.
Test a number of variables to continue tweaking and strengthening creative, and deliver it consistently across both channels. Make sure to measure the lift you get when channels are combined vs. when they are isolated.
According to Target Marketing, Stein Mart recently conducted a successful direct mail campaign that generated national exposure through viral sharing. Sending out 20,000 postcards garnered 30,068 total responses, due to the integration with social media.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, of course. With a little creative thinking, there’s no limit to how you can use social media and direct mail to drive traffic to the site or to the store—and boost your bottom line.
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