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re-directing direct: why direct social media is a necessary complement to direct mail and email marketing…

22187942_sSocial media and direct mail/email marketing go more hand-in-hand than you might think. Mail and email help a business deliver content directly to potential customers. When augmenting direct mail and email with social media marketing, you can waste a lot of time, money and effort if you don’t have a pinpointed target market. Social media users voluntarily release endless information (such as interests, hobbies, preferences, travel patterns and personal demographics) in order to build an online profile to connect with others. Because of this, data collected from social networks provides customer personas, and thus can define a carefully selected audience for your marketing messages. You can then specifically select who to direct your social media marketing towards, and can take measures to ensure that your business is promoting relevant content to them. Additionally, this information can make your direct mail and email marketing not only more efficient, but more likely to convert to sales by ensuring that your recipients will already have some interest in your business.

Utilization of social media is a cost-efficient and effective way to enhance your current marketing efforts, but it can also be a beneficial tool in entirely separate ways. Unlike mail and email, social media allows a company to connect with its customers to develop a community around its brand. A business’s presence on social media gives customers the opportunity to have an interactive experience with the brand by “liking”, commenting, and sharing its posts. Some businesses further foster this sense of community by actually responding to customers’ posts on their social media pages. This makes the customers’ relationship with the brand a more personal one – and as emotional responses to marketing are what drive buying behavior, this is a promotional opportunity that is not to be overlooked.

While social media is a valuable marketing tool and is becoming increasingly more popular among businesses, don’t go ditching the “traditional” advertising channels either. Email marketing still brings in higher revenue than social networks, and remains the preferred channel by most Americans. Comparatively, direct mail gets your advertisement in the hands of the customer, and they’ll likely read it more thoroughly than they would if it were an online ad. Consider using direct social media in combination with direct mail and email marketing to develop an integrated approach to your marketing efforts. Add social networking links to the bottom of your emails, or include incentives for “following” your business in your next mail advertisement. And if you can post content online that your followers find interesting or amusing enough to share then they’ll do the advertising for you, and your job just got a whole lot easier!

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