Is Your Direct Mail Sinking in a Social Media-Driven World?


Is-Your-Direct-Mail-Sinking-in-a-Social-Media-Driven-WorldWith the intense focus on everything social these days, you might be wondering whether there’s still a place for direct mail in a social media-driven world. The answer is yes, if it’s done right. So what does “doing it right” actually mean, and how do you navigate the waters of the social seas without sinking? Don’t panic – there are ways to do it that will bring you a return on your direct marketing investment.

As long as your mailing campaign can do what social media can do, then there’s still a reason to do it. Here’s how to determine whether your campaigns are measuring up:

Social Media Offers Personalization

The evolution of social media has brought with it a degree of personalization that direct mail was mostly lacking until now. In the past, we obtained mailing lists through various channels and then qualified them as best we could before mounting a direct mail campaign. Often, marketers could only hope that the piece they were sending would resonate with the recipient enough to produce a result.

With social media, however, you’re not only able to reach groups of people who might want your product, you’re able to talk to them by name. That means your direct mail campaigns need to be able to do the same.

Social Media Enables Segmentation

Direct marketing campaigns are expensive animals. The cost of printing and production makes it difficult to turn out materials for different audience segments, so marketers had a tendency to “generalize” the collateral so it would appeal to a broader group. In the world of social media, you can create a different campaign for each different segment at little or no additional cost, and that’s what’s giving it the competitive advantage.

The take-away from this is to segment your direct mail offering as much as possible, don’t just send the same old same old because it’s cheaper to print it in bulk. It might cost less, but so will your ROI be lower!

Social Media Provides Real Targeting

Information about your target market used to be based on dinosaurs such as demographics, income status and home ownership. Now, social media makes it possible to identify targets based on self-stated interests, education levels and participation in online groups. You wouldn’t send an invite to a teen fashion event to the over-50s on Facebook, now would you? So why would you send it to a household without knowing whether there are teens in residence or not?

The unique opportunity available now is for marketers to take the targeting options offered by social media and make them work in your direct marketing. Sounds impossible? It’s not. It just requires some thinking outside the box to find ways to gather social information about your customers and apply it to your marketing data.

Social Media Delivers Measurable Results

One of the best things about social media is the chance it gives you to measure results—click-throughs, search ranking and page views, for example. By combining your direct mail campaign with a social component you can benefit from all this and still enjoy the advantages of having a physical, “sticky” piece of marketing material delivered directly to your target’s home.

Direct Mail Best Practices