With the right strategy, direct mail and social media can amplify each other’s effectiveness and boost the payoff from your efforts. Social media provides enormous reach at a relatively low cost, while research has shown that direct mail is more memorable and more persuasive than digital media. Pairing the two can help you cut through digital noise to make a strong impression on a highly targeted audience.
Try these tactics to get the most from your efforts.
Build Social Buzz for Your Offers
Give your social media followers a heads-up about special offers or discounts you’ll be sending by mail. For example, if you’re planning a sale for your store’s anniversary, let your followers know to check their mailboxes for an exclusive coupon they can use on that day. If you’re launching a new service, build anticipation by alerting your audience to look for the details in a postcard coming their way. Give followers who aren’t on your direct mail list an easy way to sign up — encourage them to send their mailing address via private message, or create a landing page that you can direct them to and collect their address. Services such as Leadpages, ShortStack and Lander can help you build a landing page without technical expertise.
Time your social posts so they will be in customers’ minds when they see your direct mail offer. Depending on how you mail (e.g., first class, bulk rate), it may take anywhere from three days to two weeks for your offer to get to customers. Aim to post a couple of days before the mailers will likely arrive.
Drive Direct Mail Recipients to Your Social Media Pages
Let your direct mail customers know where to find you on the major social platforms. Include your Facebook URL and Twitter and Instagram handles as an easy way to grow your follower base. Encourage customers to share your offer on their social media pages, and consider offering some type of incentive — for example, an entry into a drawing for a special prize — as a reward. Ask people to tag or mention your business when they share it so you can credit social shares correctly.
Another option is to include a QR code on your printed materials to direct recipients to a social media landing page. For example, if you’re promoting a 15 percent discount for first-time users of your new service, your landing page could provide more details about the service and give customers the opportunity to save even more if they sign up for your email newsletter or share your offer with their social networks. Including a QR code on your mailers can make it easier to track the response.
Use Social Media as a Testing Ground
Social media advertising gives you a relatively low-cost way to target very specific audiences: For example, Facebook and Instagram let you target people by location, age, hobbies, purchasing behavior and other criteria. Use these tools to test messaging and visuals and learn what resonates most with target customers. Then, use those insights to refine both your social media and direct mail ads. If you’re considering launching a direct mail campaign in a certain geographic area, you might try targeting social ads to prospects in that area first. That way, you can review analytics from the social media campaign to make your direct mail campaign more targeted.
You can even experiment with messaging on your current direct mail list. Facebook allows you to upload your direct mail list to its Business platform, where it matches names with Facebook users. You can then test different ads with these users to see which garners the best response and fine-tune your direct mail messaging accordingly. Uploading your direct mail list to Facebook also helps you reinforce your messages and reach people through the channel they’re most likely to use.
As with any marketing endeavor, it’s critical to monitor the success of your efforts. Compare the redemption rates of direct mail offers that you’ve promoted through social media against other campaigns that didn’t get social media support. Ask people how they learned about your offer — how many mention social media, the direct mail piece, or both? Drill into specifics, if possible. For example, if you used Facebook ads to test messaging to direct-mail prospects in a new ZIP code, see how the results of that direct-mail campaign compare with past campaigns. Use what you learn from each campaign to make your next one more effective.
Reinforce your messages by using similar colors, imagery and other brand elements across channels. That will help keep your business and your offers in people’s minds and ensure your outreach feels cohesive.