Creative direct marketing engages at a deeper level

Our annual high school football water softener salt fundraiser kicked off as expected this spring.

With social distancing in effect, my son realized it would be tough to solicit orders door-to-door. So, I encouraged him to create a video to make his sales pitch. He texted the short clip to a prepared list of friends and relatives. In the first few days, it generated a decent e-response.

But as the deadline drew near, my son was still well below his sales projection. So, I suggested a direct marketing approach. He mailed the fundraiser flyer along with a thoughtfully-written personal letter to the same group and added a few more families to the list. One friend shared the flyer with a neighbor, and combined they bought ten bags of water softener salt. Another direct mail recipient purchased twelve bags. A mom whose daughter is involved in a fundraiser for soccer “appreciated the effort made to reach out to us directly beyond social media” and signed up for two bags.

Through this experience, my son learned that it was well worth the time to write purposeful content, copy additional flyers, and hand-address and stamp all of those envelopes. The campaign resulted in what he hoped for. It caught the attention of a captive audience; those working from home who make the trip to the mailbox each day. He not only reached, but exceeded his sales goal.

“Direct mail has a place in this digital world – but as with anything, it needs to be researched and executed in a thoughtful and strategic manner.”

My TRG Colleague Mike Shefky shared those thoughts five years ago when blogging, “Oh, direct mail. Don’t ever leave us.”  What he wrote then still rings true. Direct marketing can strengthen and even increase your customer base. While my example may be consumer-focused, the message applies to both B2C and B2B.

Everyone is online right now, and after more than a month of this crisis, our inbox is clogged daily with professional and personal emails. For someone discovering a post card, flyer or letter in the mail that is smartly written and appropriate for the times, direct marketing can be that tangible attention-getter and produce a definitive call to action.

Now, we simply have to worry about how to deliver all of those bags of water softener salt…

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