In this post I’m talking direct marketing or more specifically direct mail. It’s hardly what you think of when modern marketing comes to mind, but I’m going to show you two great examples that might just change your mind.
Now as you probably know, many businesses are replacing traditional outbound marketing (Tradeshows, TV commercials, radio commercials, print advertisements etc.) with inbound marketing (blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media etc.) which is a more cost-effective and ‘human’ approach to marketing. We’ve seen this trend grow with the release of popular books such as Inbound Marketing, To Sell is Human, Trust Agents, The New Rules of Marketing & PR to name a few.
The most recent is probably There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human: #H2H. A recent quote on Social Media Today from Bryan Kramer the author, sheds light on what this human marketing is all about.
“Communication shouldn’t be complicated. It should just be genuine and simple, with the humility and understanding that we’re all multi-dimensional humans, everyone of which has spent time in both the dark and delightful parts of life”. That’s human to human. That is #H2H.
In recent years we’ve associated social media with the human element of marketing and as such it’s central to the inbound marketing movement. However, sometimes social media isn’t social at all it’s used as a broadcast channel. Likewise traditional outbound marketing like direct mail can be used in a way that is very human, embodying the characteristics highlighted in the quote above. So I thought I’d show you two great examples where this is the case, companies that are doing a great job of using direct mail as part of a modern marketing strategy:
I received the direct mail pictured above from Creative Jar a marketing agency that was trying to attract the company I work for as a client. Ironically they’re an award winning digital agency who managed to get my attention through direct mail which in itself is telling. Now on the surface it really doesn’t look very exciting just an envelope and postcard. But this postcard really did move me to action and here’s why:
- Perfect timing. This arrived on Valentines Day last year, seeing the words ‘we want you’ made me smile and feel a little bit special, even though I knew the sender was a company
- The message was personal. I loved the fact that the envelope was handwritten and addressed to me personally, in our e-mail culture hand written snail-mail is a bit of a novelty
- There was an obvious and clear call to action. A personalised url (Purl) with an invitation to visit the link and find out more.
- It was integrated with online and therefore measurable and easy for me to act on immediately
More examples of Creative Jar campaigns to inspire you
The second example comes from True Agency.
This was another direct mail campaign, probably the best I’ve ever received. This time a hard back book with my name and company I work for printed on the front. It arrived in a really nice branded box with the words ‘start a great brand story’ on the front. The first page of the book tells True Agency’s brand story followed by about 200 blank pages for me to create my own. I absolutely loved this campaign for the following reasons:
- It was completely original. I’d never seen a campaign like this before
- It wasn’t just a campaign it was a gift. Beautifully presented, useful and relevant to me
- It was personal. Not just because it referred to me by name but because it was centred around my story not theirs
- The quality of the campaign gave me the sense of the value the company would place on me as a client
More examples of great campaigns by True Agency
So what’s the message?
Essentially it’s not about the channels you use but the way you use them; any marketing channel can be used as part of a modern marketing campaign when used creatively.
Ultimately I knew that these campaigns were about securing business but I appreciated the quality of the campaigns and the effort that was taken to make the propositions relevant to me.
Although I haven’t enlisted the services of either company they did get a micro conversion out of me and over a year later I still remember both brands, who I’d never heard of before and here I am blogging to you about them. Both campaigns reminded me of the art of simplicity and how impactful simplicity can be.
You may not have the budgets that these agencies have, but no matter what your budget you can still employ the principles that made these campaigns a success. Here are my 4 top takeaways from these campaigns
- Seek to connect on a personal level: As Bryan Kramer states it’s not B2B or B2C it’s H2H (Human to Human)
- Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication: the most powerful campaigns are often simple concepts executed brilliantly
- Go for the soft sell: Take the time to connect with people and introduce your brand before trying to sell your product. It’s common courtesy.
- Provoke action: never forget that the ultimate goal of any campaign is to provoke an action
What are your thoughts on the use of traditional marketing methods as part of a modern marketing strategy? I’d love to hear them so feel free to comment below.