By Mark Tew - Senior Website Consultant
Yes yes yes… We all know that digital marketing is possibly one of the most effective generators of leads when it comes to growing your business; but do printed marketing materials and direct mail still have a vital part to play in how you raise brand awareness and win new customers for your agency?
As you’re no doubt aware, printed marketing materials – such as flyers, leaflets, direct mail pieces and brochures – have been around for centuries. They can instantly grab your audience’s attention, and unlike your web-based activities, printed materials can be picked up, put down and referred back to instantly at a later date. They can also be passed onto friends, family or colleagues, meaning your messaging can reach even more potential customers… for free!
Now, on paper (no pun intended) this all sounds great: but in recent years, digital marketing has been seen as the successor to your conventional print ads. Virtually everyone now has a smart phone, or spends at least a portion of their days browsing the web – meaning many businesses have shifted their advertising and marketing activities online.
It’s also the case that digital marketing is seen as a more efficient, cost-effective and targeted way to reach your audiences. For example, when you can target users with Facebook ads at a granular level – using their job titles, age, locations and interests in order to reach them – a direct mailer may just seem a little, well, old fashioned…
So, here’s the thing: should you continue with your printed marketing activities? Or should you put all your company's efforts into effective digital marketing activities instead?
Your Digital Activities can Support Successful Print Marketing Campaigns
Yup! As you might have guessed from the blog’s title, your digital activities can actually support successful print campaigns, rather than consigning them to the marketing dustbin. Whilst online activities can be extremely cost-effective when it comes to lead generation, printed media still holds tremendous power over people – and there’s a few core reasons behind this:
- Printed media is seen as more ‘trustworthy’ – We’ve all experienced annoying pop-up ads when browsing the web. And we bet you’ve probably got some form of AdBlocker on your browser, too? They can often be seen as intrusive or, worse still, misleading – especially if the ads lead to a nefarious or unsecure website. Printed adverts, however, aren’t generally seen in the same way as they give readers a choice between engaging with them or not.
- They allow more creativity – Unlike an online advert, Printed media is tangible, whilst the messaging can be direct and even beautiful! If aimed at the right audience, it can create genuine resonance – and that’s something that online adverts can often rarely do.
- It’s direct! – Regardless of how you view flyers or leaflets that come through your door, it’s very hard to simply ignore something that is actually in your hand. Emails can be ignored or simply deleted; but printed materials can illicit a more direct response from the recipient.
With so many strong positives as to how print media can be effective, it’s crucial that if you do decide to have a flyer printed or a direct mailer sent out, you know it’s going to an audience who’ll truly engage with it. And this is where your digital marketing activities come in…
Use Lead Management and Marketing Software that Accurately Identifies your Audiences
Before you start mailing out flyers or posting leaflets through letterboxes, how do you know the people receiving them are actually interested in your agency’s services? A good website with strong lead management software
behind it can help you do just that.
Good lead management software will not just capture data that comes in when and if a prospect completes a form: ideally, it should be able to show the popular areas requesting valuations on your website, and allow you to export an address list of all properties in those areas. These can then be used as targets for your print-based activities – for example, estate agents can encouraging buyers to use their services should they wish to sell their property, or sharing new properties for sale to areas who may have been actively searching their website website. For financial advisors who partner with property agents, leaflets and handouts at an agency's office can be a great way to introduce your business to new potential customers.
Have continuity of brand and messaging
Whilst you’ve got the opportunity to be more creative with your printed materials, it’s important to have a continuity of brand
, look and messaging across all your materials.
The main idea behind brand continuity is that your potential customers should get the same approach and experience from any touchpoint they may have with your business – be it your website
, your digital ads or even your telephone calls. So for businesses in ultra-competitive or niche markets, this can be particularly important as continuity in your brand and messaging can ensure that your agency gains crucial market visibility, a reliable image and the competitive edge it needs to thrive.
Ensure your prospects are given the path of least resistance
Flyers and direct mail pieces are great for building brand awareness; but to make them truly successful lead generators, you need to ensure they encourage clear and easy actions you want them to take – mainly, engaging with you directly.
Adding QR codes and personalised URLs to your printed materials is a really effective and simple way to monitor engagement with your print campaigns, add vital leads into your lead management software, and also contribute towards accurate lead generation – helping you create more effective and target digital campaigns in the process! The easier you make it for prospects to take the action you want them to take, the more chance there is they’ll do exactly that.
Include strong calls to action
Finally, if you’re going to send direct mails to encourage people to contact you, ensure it has a strong call to action that leads to a dedicated landing page that replicates the messaging of the mail you’re sending – don’t just send them to a generic page on your website or just include a telephone number.
Building a dedicated landing page on your website for people to visit from your mailer means you can accurately track the success of your direct mail campaign. If you also include a contact form on the same landing page, you’ll then be able to capture vital prospect information that you can then look to nurture and engage with.
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