Customer Experience News & Trends

5 time-worn, offline marketing tactics that still pay off

Forget sexy and mobile. With so much emphasis on Internet, social and mobile marketing, we’ve lost sight of some tried-and-true tactics that still work amazingly well.

It might be time to get our heads out of the Cloud, build brand awareness and generate solid leads through some channels that don’t get as much attention anymore. Why? Customers and prospects still like — and respond to — them.

Done right, any or all of these should be part of your marketing mix:

1. Direct mail

People look at direct mail pieces because they stand out more than email. Their mailboxes are cavernous. Their in-boxes are overflowing.

Taking these three steps will help you build response from your direct mail pieces:

  • Focus on the 3 Ms. Know the market — get it out to identifiable people who need or desire your product. Send the right message — craft the words, images and offers to get those people to take action immediately. Use the right mailing list — don’t just drop a direct mail campaign. Build a list so the people on the list match the profile of those who have a need for your product or service.
  • Know your objective. Direct mail should have just one objective — whether it’s to get the order, a visit to your location, raise awareness of an event, get a call, increase referrals, etc. Pick one and stick with it.
  • Test it. Before sending any direct mail piece, send it to a test market. If response is low, rework copy or the offer, and try another small mailing.

2. Promotional gifts

Who doesn’t love a gift — whether it’s for a special occasion, like a birthday, or for just showing up somewhere? If you question the lasting impression a gift can leave, look around your home or office. It’s likely that within 30 seconds you’ll see something that was given to you, and you’ll remember who the giver and occasion was.

The most important part of a promotional gift is that it’s practical, says marketing expert Steve Olenski. Give customers things they’ll use, not items that will collect dust.

3. Coupons and lumpy mailers

The key to success with coupons and lumpy mailers (a combination of No. 1 and No. 2: direct mail with a small gift) is getting them to specific, targeted addresses. For some companies, that’s a neighborhood. For others, it’s an industry or another focused demographic.

Some experts agree that frequency is also a key to making coupons and lumpy mailers work. Customer confidence grows with contact. Even if customers don’t respond to initial contacts, they’re becoming familiar with the brand — until it’s a known name and vendor.

4. Sign spinning

In the truest sense, sign spinning is the crazy guy standing in front of a strip mall turning a sign and waving at drivers to promote a going-out-of-business or some other sale. You might find it hard to believe, but several studies have proven that these marketing techniques are an effective investment because they’re low-cost and grab the attention of potential customers.

Of course, we don’t have many readers who are going out of business. But sign spinning works in different ways, too. Online ads with movement are the web equivalent. Repetition of phone numbers or websites during commercials is another form of sign spinning that works for small and large businesses alike.

5. Jingles, pitches and slogans

The power of catchy tunes and taglines hasn’t diminished over time, mostly because they rely on tried-and-true human psychology. People have a shared capacity and affection for language (and music). A catchy tune or catchphrase will catch on faster and stay longer than a fancy marketing trick.

  • What do you have,  “A Coke and a …?”
  • Sing this, “Oh, I wish I was an Oscar …”
  • How about this catchphrase, “Just Do …”

You know them all without hesitation. Jingles and slogans are still powerful ways to reach customers.

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