You hear a lot of talk about “content marketing.” While most talk is focused around online marketing, the content you create for direct mail is just as critical. The way businesses use direct mail has changed, but it’s still integral to overall marketing strategy. And just like content for online platforms, content you create for your direct mail efforts can make the difference between success and failure.
Content Must Be Strategic
Fifteen years ago, most direct mail was designed to get a direct response. Businesses wanted leads to call or mail a form back. The trigger was often some kind of special offer. Maybe a limited time offer or special pricing. For non-profits, it was often the solicitation of a donation.
That’s not how it works today. Now, people want information before they act—especially relating to a significant purchase or commitment. Your direct mail content needs to reflect that. Address your audience’s questions or concerns rather than focusing on your product or service. That’s a strategic shift away from asking to providing.
However, this requires another strategic shift. While still effective, direct mail is too expensive for indiscriminate use. So, if your prospects want more information—you need to find a more cost-effective way to get it to them. Quickly.
This is where integrated marketing strategy comes in. It takes advantage of the strengths of direct mail (personal, attention-grabbing) and incorporates the advantages of online tools (inexpensive, on-demand, expandable).
This way you can use direct mail to get someone’s attention and then direct them to your website. On your website they can then access as much information as they want or need. Include offers on your website for more specific information in exchange for providing a name and email address. After that they have qualified themselves as leads—people who want to hear more from you.
Your direct mail content needs to be strategic both in terms of message (providing information rather than asking for sales) and in execution (pointing people to your website rather than asking them to call or send a form back).
Click below to download an overview of how to integrate direct mail with other outreach (radio, TV, print, email, mobile, etc.).