If you think direct mail is ineffective, why does Google still use it as part of their marketing strategy?
So much of the time we hear about how online strategies are the tickets to business prosperity and while online marketing is a necessary component of our marketing plan, offline strategies still play a vital role in winning over customers. While we tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn and blog our way through our customers’ monitors, we cannot forgo the importance of relationships that develop offline.
The fact remains that 2/3 of the population didn’t grow up with a mouse in hand. Sure, some of us were tinkering with computers long before others and understand many of the ins and outs of cyberspace, but truth be told, we’re still a population of hand-shakers who enjoy face-to-face time in a brick and mortar.
And that’s part of the reason why we use the internet for so many things and part of the reason why we don’t. For the average person, the majority of his/her day is not spent online, but in a world that’s real and interactive.
Direct mail works because it’s designed to reach potential customers during their time not spent online. It’s a controlled message that’s delivered right into the hands of your targeted market. Best of all, it works because your direct mail piece isn’t fighting or competing with pages of websites links or keywords; just your utility bills or mortgage payment. And who wants to read those?
Ironically, Google, masters of cyberspace, also believes in the power of direct mail. You should too.
Considering a direct mail campaign or just want to know how you can win over more customers with a great ROI? Contact Greenway Print Solutions today.
A customer called yesterday. They had to mail 100,000 letters in two days, by law. The mailing house could get the letters printed (personalized) and stuffed in time but the envelopes they had in stock had my customers first class mail permit. Since these could mail with a presort standard permit, the postage savings would be huge. They asked if we could somehow produce 100,000 envelopes with their presort standard permit so their mailing facility could get the letters out in time.
It’s pretty darn hard to produce 100,000 envelopes in two days, especially when your production schedule is full.
After a few phone calls, we performed our first miracle of the year for this customer and will have the 100,000 envelopes produced and delivered on time, saving them over $10,000 in postage.
That’s what we do.
Businesses are always touting they have great customer service and if we were to put all of those touts in a basket, it would be quite a large basket. Yet, proving that a business truly values its customers is another story indeed.
It’s not often that a business or even a business owner receives a whole lot of recognition from a customer, let alone be presented with an award. But in this case, the “proof is in the pudding.”
Alan Chait, owner of Greenway Print Solutions, has always prided himself on customer service and it was the primary reason he left the printing corporate world as an employee to start his own business. He believed he could offer his customers a lot more, not just with a vast array of affordable, quality products, but with superior customer service. To prove it, the story goes:
” Last week I had an appointment with my largest customer, a $200 million company, to review some business forms we are working on. The meeting was supposed to be in their North conference room, but when I arrived nobody was there. Suddenly one of the managers showed up to tell me they had moved the meeting to a conference room in the back and he took me there. In the room were about 200 people, seated and listening to two of the top executives talk about how to use some of the forms I designed for them. In the back was the CEO who, when he saw me, told me to sit down. I told him I’d just wait outside until they were done, but he insisted that I sit and watch the class.”
“The CEO suddenly got up, stopped the meeting and told everyone that they had decided to award their Vendor Partners who have been responsible for their success. Of the 10 or so vendors, they voted on who should get the first award, which was me. I had to get up in front of all these people and listen to all the wonderful things that I’ve done for them, my dedication and hard work. Being a little bit of an introvert the “ambush” was an overwhelming surprise and I am very proud to get the award. (Ironically, I was working on pricing out acrylic awards for them to give to their employees, or so I thought. It turns out I’ll be printing my own award.)”
The award shows that the foundations that I built Greenway Print Solutions on 30 years ago is alive and well.
When it comes to marketing, knowing exactly who your customers are is one of the most important bits of data you can amass. Without it, your marketing campaign is nothing more than the blind leading the blind.
Marketing Case in Point
Say you own a restaurant. It’s Saturday Night and your restaurant is packed. You’re obviously doing something right but you’re not sure exactly. Is it your friendly staff, the food, the pricing, the service, the ambiance?
You advertise, at a great expense, in local newspapers and magazines. You sometimes offer coupons or a promotion. Once in awhile you send out direct mail.
But still you don’t have information that is critical for successful marketing to a focused audience.
What You Need to Know When Marketing to Your Customers
1. Who are your customers? The restaurant is full and you may know a few of your regulars, but who are the other customers?
2. Even if you knew who they are, how do you contact them to promote slow nights?
3. Why are these people coming to your restaurant in the first place?
4. Where is your money being spent most effectively – newspaper ads, magazines ad, direct mail, other promotions? What is giving you the best Rate of Return?
Marketing to a Focused Audience
Here’s the good news. There is a simple way to gather that information which allows you to tastefully communicate with your customers and keep you top of mind.
One way is to have a table tent that offers a free soda or iced tea (minimum cost) or a free dessert for simply doing one of two things.
1. If the customer has a smart phone, scan a little funny looking bar code or
2. If they don’t have a smart phone, simply text a keyword to a certain phone number. Either way the customer receives the offer. In the process, you ask everyone, with absolutely no obligation, for their email and cell phone number so that you can contact them, once in a great while, with other offers. Most customers will join in.
As you gather that information, you start communicating with them. Send a quick poll to find out why they come to you and what attracts them. You can offer specials on Monday and Tuesday nights. You can have a “kids eat free” night, two for one drinks or whatever to bring the customers through your door.
How will you send those offers to your customers? By either email or text message . Text messaging is more effective because it’s read instantly. If you’re selling pizza, you can text customers about a special at 4:30 pm so they think about ordering one and picking it up on the way home.
You can also send reminders of reservations so that if their plans change, you’ll know that you have a table open to take another reservation.
The methods of marketing to customer’s mobile phones are endless and the cost of focused marketing is much less than, and more effective than the old model of expensive advertising.