At my agency, we used to work primarily on direct mail programs and they worked for our clients. We rolled out huge mailings for Chase, American Express and lots of others clients. Then mailings got more costly, and we were paying more for each customer we were bringing in.
So, we started testing mail, then obtaining email addresses. We tested emailing people to visit us on Facebook, and then gave them special offers there. Little by little, over the last few years, we’ve gone from a direct mail agency, to an online group that builds websites, maintains the relationships our clients have iwth their customers via social media…and are testing some great new strategies. We’re having fun.
If we’d stayed in our old niche, we probably wouldn’t be growing as fast.
Then I read a piece about Newsweek reinventing itself in The New York Times. Their transformation is amazing: a new, smaller format, interesting new design…and a more afluent readership. They aren’t going to cover the big events any more (like the U.S. Airways flight that glided into the Hudson River). They are gambling on an audience that will pay more for a new “offbeat take” on events. Will it work?
Time will tell.
A while ago “Second Life” was a big deal, and everyone was talking about the virtual world and how it would change everything. It didn’t. Now, we are all excited about Twitter. I’ve become addicted to it.
I have HootSuite, and Twitter my comments on a timely basis, and answer everyone…and maybe it is doing something for my agency…but I’m not sure yet. I spent a lot of time on it over the weekend, and then looked at my results.
It was amazing for me to see that the one tweet that got the highest response was one I wrote about direct mail, sending people to Michael McCormick’s blog, http://gutsofaburglar.com
The funny thing about that is …our agency still gets most of our new business from targeted direct mail programs. We weave a great story into a letter, include an offer and a time limit…and Voila! People call us.
Of course, I know that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr will all eventually work for us too. It is just a matter of testing different strategies. The important thing is to build relationships and the best way to begin that is to work on a “knowledge level”,
understanding who your prospect is, and something about him/her. These social media sites help us that way, because when you read someone’s tweets …you get to know them better.
So, keep on Twittering, and Facebooking, and emailing…and always remember to continue to test the “tried and true” direct mail program. It will work even better now, because our mailboxes at home and at work…are really quite empty.
Meanwhile, visit me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/loisgeller