When people talk about old school marketing, they’re usually referring to referral direct mail. But does it really deserve that stigma? At Marketing Masters, we say no way! This old marketing strategy works best when you have something specific in mind that you want your potential customers to hear from someone they trust – namely, their friends and family members.
The Power of Reciprocity
If you send out a direct mail piece to potential customers, you can’t assume they’ll open it and read it. But you can make them feel as if they should; include a personal note at one of their businesses or in their mailbox, thanking them for a recent purchase, or asking them to consider your new product or service. If you give someone a gift—even if that gift is information—they’re going to want to do something in return.
The List Effect
A study from Stanford University shows that when we take a time to write down things that are important to us and present them in an organized manner, we are more likely to stay on track with our goals. There’s something about writing down the list that makes it easy for us to assess whether or not we’re meeting our objectives, and whether or not there are steps we can take to get back on track.
The Segmentation Effect
Even though new marketing techniques such as content marketing and SEO are increasingly popular, there’s still nothing that compares to word-of-mouth or referrals. In fact, a 2013 study by Cone Communications found that customers who were referred to a business by friends or family are twice as likely to purchase a product than those who were not referred.
The Personalization Effect
One of the main reasons that referral direct mail works so well is because it’s so personal and hands-on. With Facebook, Instagram, and other forms of digital marketing, we feel a little more detached from our products. That’s why traditional marketing methods like direct mail work better: People feel like you’re taking time to reach out to them personally—and they respond better to that kind of attention than they do to generic messages posted on their favorite social media channels.
The Trust Effect
One of direct mail’s biggest upsides? It works on trust. Your prospect knows that you put your name on something, so they know that it must be quality—or you wouldn’t have bothered putting your name and reputation on it. Because of that trust factor, people are more likely to pick up something that comes in a direct-mail envelope or arrives via postal mail than if they saw it online or picked it up from a newspaper rack.