Jan 31, 2011
Advertising + Direct Mail to Build Your Brand and Generate Responses
Some marketers think of advertising and direct mail as distinctly different forms of marketing - and never the ‘twain shall meet, as they say. But while each can help you achieve different goals - advertising is generally meant to build awareness about your brand, and direct mail to generate a response - used together they are a powerful duo. (In fact, direct and digital advertising expenditures are projected to increase 6.2 percent this year in the U.S.)
Indeed, savvy marketers can use advertising and direct mail in conjunction to generate powerful results. JetBlue - one of the kingpins of good branding - for example, last year ran a "One Thing That's Green" campaign. The company offered homeowners in certain parts of New York City trees to plant in their neighborhood. It played well nationally with their branding efforts of being current, hip and green. It played well locally, giving a very community feel to the city where they are headquartered.
JetBlue led their launch with digital touch points and print advertisements followed by door-to-door canvassing and direct mail. By introducing the concept with wide-reaching advertisements and then following up with targeted direct mail pieces to the specific homeowners being offered trees, JetBlue was able to reach various audiences with their intended messages, and drive both brand awareness and customer engagement.
So, how to drive engagement with advertising and direct mail?
Start with the basics. Focus on what, when, why and how. Know what you want your reader to do before you start writing and designing. If you're the project manager, ensure your writer and designer understand your specific response goals from the start.
What. Do you want your readers to call, e-mail, or visit your website? Do you want them to stop by your retail store in three days, or drop by your trade show booth in three weeks? Knowing what you are driving your readers to do will ensure that you write the most effective marketing copy.
When. Your copy, design, and mailing format must reinforce when you want your readers to take action. For example, when your call is for delayed action - such as visiting a retail store or exhibit at a trade show - make sure the mailing format includes a retention piece such as a coupon, gift card, or calendar sticker to serve as a reminder. This retention device also should include your call to action, in case it's the only piece that the recipient retains.
Why. Don't leave your readers asking "What's in it for me?" We all have very little time in our days. Make the benefits easy and clear for your readers - don't make them work for it.
How. Obvious as it may seem to you, you need to tell your readers exactly how to respond. If you want them to call, tell them to call and provide the phone number. Ensure that your contact information and your website URL is easy to find, easy to read, and easy to refer to later. Put it in at least one "hot spot" - where the reader's eye goes first. Remember, response diminishes when your reader has to search for the information needed to respond.
By fully utilizing direct mail's strength of response to support your advertising campaign, you will garner mass general awareness and targeted interaction and response. That's a winning integrated marketing campaign that you can be proud of.