In the past 5 years, marketing and advertising have drastically changed. Inbound marketing is all the rage, showing solid ROI’s with higher rate of return than traditional marketing.
However, does that mean the traditional forms of outbound marketing (such as direct mail, print ads, radio, television, billboards, promotional products etc.) should not be utilized?
Could we be losing out on an entire generation of qualified leads?
The Sweetest Love Story Almost Never Told
Take for example a 93 year old man named Fred.
Fred saw an ad for a songwriting competition that a music studio was running in the local paper. The ad asked for a YouTube submission.
However, Fred didn't have a YouTube account. He didn't have an email. Apparently he didn't have a computer, because he submitted a handwritten letter, with handwritten lyrics of the sweetest love story I've heard in quite some time.
Take 10 minutes and watch this video, and make sure there are tissues nearby.
Fred’s song reached top 10 on iTunes.
If that studio had not run a traditional ad, Fred would have never seen it. We are all in some small way BETTER for having heard Fred’s story and his song to his one true love.
Stories like these are the reason we shouldn’t be fighting against traditional outbound marketing methods. We should find a way to marry our outbound efforts with our inbound efforts for one unified voice.
And The Two Shall Become One...
Incorporating your inbound and outbound efforts will help you:
reduce marketing costs
create a longer lasting asset
solidify the brand
and improve ROI
To give you a clear picture of how this works, I’ll use an example of outbound marketing that has been neglected for some time: direct mail.
Direct mail, which has gotten a bad rap over the years, is impactful because it is able to pinpoint the target market through geographics and demographics.
Instead of blasting it to every home in a specific zipcode, you can be selective by income level, married or single, children, etc.
So from a practical standpoint, this approach helps reduce costs.
Create an Asset
Direct mail is not typically designed to be a keepsake item. Combining direct mail with digital media such as landing pages, personalized urls, emails, and social media, increases the life for both.
Those who aren't finding or getting your digital media could be notified how to find it with direct mail.
Those who are ignoring your direct mail could be reached via digital media.
The digital offer can remain online until the offer is no longer running, with the chance to reach strangers who are searching for related information.
Solidify Your Brand
Even if your direct mail piece is left unanswered, direct mail will not be ignored.
Human eyeballs will land on your mail piece at some point; your brand will be registered in some way in their mind.
A beautifully designed piece with a strong compelling headline may sit for weeks on a side table waiting to be answered, or it may go straight to the trash. But the memory lives on.
To give a favorable impression:
Your brand position must clearly justify your differentiation to your target market.
All pieces of your outbound and inbound marketing must have the same look, feel, offer, and verbiage.
Keep the verbiage very simple and catchy, keep the font clean and easy to read, and use bold graphics that will clearly represent your brand.
Use mobile optimized, responsive landing pages with personalized urls. If the recipient is intrigued by your mailer, and visits its digital media complement, there is a good chance they will be looking at it on a mobile device.
Whether you are reaching new people through geographic and demographic research, or reaching your existing leads in the lead database, inbound marketing can give direct mail the capability to be personalized and include the recipient’s name directly into the copy of the mailer and landing page.
A friendly tone that addresses them directly will help engage your audience.
Help Improve ROI
One reason why people love digital media is because we can prove ROI, without having to estimate. Coming up with interesting ways to include it into your direct mail will improve your overall marketing efforts and move those leads down the sales funnel. Here are some examples:
Give each recipient a special coupon code to redeem online, or a hard copy coupon to bring in.
Use a QR code that will track the specific location of the user once scanned.
Use a personalized url specific to the visitor, monitor the bounce and conversions.
Send an email with the same message as the mailer, to give them an additional opportunity to seize your offer.
If a recipient of your direct mail converts into an online inbound lead, you will have future opportunities to nurture those specific leads with interesting, relevant, engaging marketing pieces, which will delight them well past the sale.
Direct mail is just one example of outbound marketing that can be amplified and improved by including an inbound marketing approach.
What are some other examples of inbound/outbound marketing that marry well together, that you have seen or used? Reply in our comments section!