What is your offline marketing strategy?

The internet has made marketing easier and more accessible to small business owners. Having a website is affordable. Email marketing is a low cost way to reach a large audience. You can set up social media pages and post to your audience for no investment other than your time. All of these things are great. I use every one of them to market my business. The problem is that it is hard to stand out and catch people’s attention in the crowded marketplace. Even if you are lucky enough to make the first page on a google search or land in someone’s inbox, you still have to get them to click on your link or open your email. It is important to have both and online and an offline marketing strategy for your business.

 

MailboxDirect mail has been around for a long time, but the cost can be prohibitive to a small business owner.  Sending a mailing to your local market can easily cost thousands of dollars. Being included in a coupon pack makes the cost more affordable, but there is no guarantee any of these will be opened. It seems like the only options are affordable but drowning in a sea of other advertisers, or high cost to get in the hands of your ideal clients.

 

The key to an effective offline marketing campaign is WHO you send it to. An affordable way to stand out from the crowd is to do targeted mailings. Targeted mailings are sent to a list you put together yourself. Depending on your business, it may be prospects in your pipeline, referral partners you need to keep in touch with, or past clients that have the potential to come back and work with you again. It is important that you don’t simply send to everyone on your list, but really target the mailing. Create a smaller, but more powerful list.

 

The reason this kind of mailing is more effective is because the recipients already know you. You aren’t sending to a random list of likely prospects that you purchased from someone. This also keeps the costs of mailing down. You are targeting people who you have already made contact with in some way. When prospects look through the mail they receive, they are more interested in opening mail from you because they already know you.

 

The next thing to think about is WHY you are mailing something. For most service businesses, new clients come through building relationships, not strictly because of a coupon or special offer. They need to feel they trust you. This kind of trust can be developed through the mail if your purpose is to build relationships and not to expect immediate sales. (Sales will logically follow as relationships are built, but don’t make that the primary purpose of the mailing.)

 

The other thing that makes a targeted mailing more effective is WHAT you send out. Think about all the typical mail you receive from day to day. What are you drawn to open first? The most common order of opening is:

  1. Package or puffy envelope
  2. Handwritten envelope (letter, invitation, announcement)
  3. Other envelopes
  4. Newsletters, magazines, or newspapers you subscribe to
  5. Advertising, coupons, etc.

In order to compel people to open what you send, you want to stay away from advertising and coupons. That is the least likely to get seen by the recipients. It is also the least likely to build a relationship.

 

If you want to use offline marketing to build relationships for your service-based business, send mail that is interesting for your recipients to open. This could include:

  • Copies of articles
  • Update letters
  • Seasonal cards
  • Success stories
  • Promotional items
  • Interesting facts

All of these things keep you top of mind to your prospects without being pushy. If they keep finding you in their mailbox, they will more likely think of you when they are ready to hire or when a friend needs a referral.

 

Keep you online marketing, but add some targeted mailings to your offline marketing. Mailings done consistently to the right group of people can make a big difference in sales conversions and referrals for your business.

If you need help sending mail consistently, contact us.  We help small businesses increase referrals and sales through consistent, relationship-building mailings.

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