May 01, 2011
Direct Mail and Your Radio Ad
Aside from "Coffee is for closers," the other famous refrain in the classic play "Glengarry Glen Ross" is "I need more leads. Where are the good leads?" This reflects the constant concern of every marketer and, indeed, every executive. Leads are the lifeblood of every business, and lead generation is the heart and soul of every successful enterprise.
Ask most people how to generate leads, and one of the responses will be "Direct mail." Indeed, direct mail is a great lead generator. But direct mail used in concert with other marketing channels is even better.
One of those other channels is radio. Leveraging both the senses of reading and hearing - visual and auditory - allows you to reinforce your message in people's brains more strongly than if you were messaging though just one channel.
The power of direct mail plus radio
The power of leveraging other marketing channels with direct mail is that they each have their strengths. With direct mail you can tell as complete a story as you wish. You have the opportunity to pique a reader's interest in your opening and give a reasonably complete presentation through both words and pictures. In addition, direct mail can be targeted better than any other medium.
Radio, on the other hand, is not as powerful as direct mail in those respects. For one, it's more difficult to respond to a radio ad. The most common use of radio is as a companion medium; people listen to it while they are doing something else. It's less likely that they will concentrate on a sales message with the same degree of intensity as other media. However, radio does have the ability to stimulate the listener's curiosity by painting imaginary pictures. And, if people are listening to your radio ad in their car, you have a somewhat captive audience.
Additionally, radio has something that most mediums don't - loyal listeners. Radio is a big part of people's lives, with the average person listening 20 to 25 hours per week. And, more importantly, despite the 40 or so stations available in any single market, most people settle on two or, maybe, three favorites as their primary source(s) of news, entertainment, and information. A bond develops between listeners and their radio stations. When a listener hears something on the radio, it's like hearing it from their own handpicked friend - so a well-crafted radio ad can resemble word-of-mouth marketing.
So while direct mail is better than radio for a direct sale, radio is an ideal lead generator because of the bond it engenders. This is especially true if the DJ or news commentator reads your commercial copy, because the prospect will be more influenced by their radio "friend." This implied endorsement from the talent helps create the strongest customer bond possible, making radio a powerful permission-marketing vehicle.
How to win with direct mail and radio
Schedule your radio advertisements to begin running a week before your mailer is scheduled to drop then continue running the radio ads for a week after the mailer is sent. That will go far in reinforcing the power of both your radio ads and your direct mail piece to- most importantly - keep you in the mind of your prospects.
In these days of integrated marketing communications programs, radio and direct mail are great companions, offering your audience the ability to experience your brand with difference senses. This multi-channel, integrated approach uses the strengths of both mediums to give maximum exposure to your company and products.