Our Guest blog today was written by Ryan Cote from Ballantine. Ballantine is a family-owned direct and digital marketing company, established in 1966. They offer their clients a full range of marketing services including direct mail, creative, personalized URLs and online marketing solutions.

postage_art_250pxMany businesses that once depended solely on Google now realize search engines do not do your selling. Well-developed direct mail and online marketing campaigns are the best way to get people to take action. Direct mail marketing and online marketing go together as well as peanut butter and jelly. While they are distinctly different types of marketing, your campaigns can be designed to complement and fuel each other.

Direct Mail Sends Targeted Traffic to Your Website

Search engine marketing attracts traffic but they might not be interested in what you offer. For example, a person might search for ballet to find a local show rather than the leotards your company sells. This traffic is meaningless because it does not result in a sale. Direct mail is one of the most effective ways to reach your target market. People have been using direct mail campaigns for decades. Targeted mailing lists are available to reach out to people who want dance supplies rather than tickets. A mailing with your website address can encourage them to visit your site and make a purchase.

Direct Mail Reaches Out to Everyone

Most people have a computer at home and at work. There are still people who do not own a home computer, especially people who live where limited Internet service is available. These people might depend on computers at work, the library or a local community center. Often their surfing time is limited. They might not check email often. Direct mail marketing reaches out to everyone. People always get mail and will look at your correspondence. Offer a special deal for visiting your website. They will save this information and use it at their convenience. Sending an email is likely to get overlooked, especially if it lands in a spam mailbox.

Postcards are Convenient

Direct mail campaigns don’t have to be complicated or expensive. A simple postcard with a unique deal can go a long way. Include your website address for exclusive savings or a promotional freebie. A postcard can be left by a work computer until the person is ready to access the deal. People can affix them to their refrigerators at home to remind them to check out the deal when they have a minute. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), postcards are the most likely form of correspondence to be read by the recipient.

The Personal Touch

People often prefer the personal touch of a direct mail letter or brochure over a generalized email. Certain email marketing campaigns are targeted to each consumer but most are mass produced. Direct mail is more intimate and inviting. Businesses can send a congratulations card to a valued associate to honor a milestone moment. Birthday cards and holiday cards with a special web offer can be sent to valued customers. This helps to build loyalty and attract people to your website.

Coupons at Customers’ Fingertips

Online coupons need to be printed or displayed on a mobile device to get cashed in. Sometimes certain codes must be copied for customers to get the discount. All of this involves work and effort on the customer’s behalf. Sending coupons via direct mail is easy. Customers don’t have to print, copy or remember anything. All they have to do is save the coupon and cash it in when they are ready. Include a code on the coupon so it is a breeze to redeem on your website. This gives customers the option of cashing in the coupon in-person or online. People always prefer to have convenient solutions and multiple options. Coupons are also an excellent way to get people to take action. The DMA reports consumers’ use of coupons went up to 79.8 percent in 2012.

Direct Mail Succeeds When Web Surfing Fails

A potential customer typically visits your website for just a few seconds before making a decision to stay or go. If the web surfer is having a bad day or doesn’t like an image at your website, you can lose a possible sale. Direct mail adds another tier to your marketing and branding efforts. When someone forgets about your website, they might be lured by a compelling direct mail campaign. It takes more than one approach to attract customers and make them want to buy.

Using Your Website for Direct Mail Campaigns

While direct mail can increase your web traffic, you can also use your website to tailor direct mail campaigns. Offer coupons, discounts or a free report to encourage your web visitors to share their mailing addresses. Use these mail addresses to create a targeted mailing list for your next direct mail campaign. People who leave their mailing addresses want to know more about your business. Give them what they want and see your dual marketing efforts result in actual sales.

Conversion is the key to any marketing campaign. Use direct mail marketing and online strategies to boost your business brand and encourage people to take action. Reach out to more potential customers by using a tiered approach to marketing.