Posts Tagged ‘direct marketing’

Twitter logos

Okay, so we’ve all heard that Twitter works for business, but cracking into it for the first time is justifiably daunting.

Here are some key things to consider to take the pain out of your first Twittering steps.

Understanding how it works

Those of you with a longer attention span will recall the very first Marketing blog ‘The Reluctant Twit’, which was basically the BoozeMonkey team putting Twitter into the petrie dish and watching what happened. Admittedly, we were sceptics wearing our knocker hats, but we were honestly surprised by what we learnt that week, and we have now embraced the Twitter phenomenon with great success.

Fundamentally, Twitter works very simply – communicating directly, indirectly or listening.

‘Directly’ is the simplest and often the first foray into Twitterville. Posting your company PR, links to your website, special offers, celebrations etc are all valid and basically extensions of your traditional marketing/PR content delivered in a new medium. While it is a safe place to start, it will have appeal to existing customers but perhaps won’t extend your reach into new customer brackets. Remember the power of Twitter is its personal engagement – it is YOU communicating with YOUR community. The normal spin of a sales brochure isn’t engaging or personal enough, you need to delve deeper to use Twitter successfully.

Moving on to ‘Indirect’ Twittering – this is a very contentious area amongst businesses globally. Indirect tweeting is when your employees or your brand ambassadors twitter about your company, products, happenings etc. On the positive side, this is a great way to expand your company profile and humanize it. It can reinforce your brand by being less advertorial, and can be very personable. Negatively, it can have the reverse affect. However, remember that people are talking about your brand anyway (or should be) and my advice is to set the boundaries for the company and its people, then TRUST them to be as passionate about your product as you are.

Like all good networking opportunities, successful use of Twitter is as much about listening (or inbound signalling) to others as it is about spruiking your news.

Twitter can provide instant, honest and direct feedback, consumer sentiment, and trending for your industry and is therefore one of the simplest forms of market research you can do.

My favourite example is a restaurant (PF Changs) patron who tweeted his displeasure at how long his meal was taking, which resulted in management waiving his bill, because an off duty staff member saw his tweet and alerted the manager, who was able to act to salvage the relationship. Examples such as that one show the power of social media and the vast opportunity it offers to get in touch with consumers. Not only was that customer happy, but the story has been relayed around the web many, many times which is great PR for the company.

So, how do you get started?

Sign up and listen. Use ‘search.twitter.com’ to see what is happening in your industry. Search your company name and see what people are saying. Track the trends. Follow some interesting people and organizations. Understand the search words and tags that work.

Get to know the applications and tools that make the process easier.

Ask questions. Add the FOLLOW ME logo to your email signature so people can follow you. Link it to your website so you gain followers. Find out who your followers/community are. Integrate Twitter into your Marketing Strategy – it isn’t a random add-on. Be real. Have fun.

Don’t sell all the time. Consider what your community want to hear.

Consider what you want to say. Tell stories. Share experiences and observations. Let people into your life and company. Talk about your passion, your pride, your community. Talk about your environment, your causes and rants. Tell the human side of your story. If something made you laugh, share it.

Make a special offer to followers. Organize a Tweet-up (a gathering of twitterers) Tell people when your new releases are coming and why they are not to be missed. Share that recipe. Link to your latest newsletter or photos on the website. Share the review.

Retweet interesting tweets from people you follow. Tweet useful links, stories that your find online. Test the market with your new ideas and ask for feedback – it’s instant. Promote your regional events, other producers in your area (chances are they will return the favour!)

Okay, give it a crack. Remember the crew are here to help, so drop us a line and let us know how you are going!

sandie@cleverowl.com

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11915085152y48cbDirect Marketing allows you to target a specific customer group or demographic (existing or desired) and make a direct offer, which the recipient must urgently act upon.

The key to a successful direct marketing/mailing campaign is to keep the message simple, direct, easy to act upon and with a tight deadline for action.

With the majority of direct campaigns run online, the cost of this form of marketing is neglible and therefore a very attractive option, especially for small companies.

Direct marketing allows you to personally engage with your customer base, attract new customers, trial a new product or direction and constantly stay in your customer’s line of sight.

Ultimately it can reinforce your brand and become a consistent source of sales and brand awareness.

You can be creative, fun and use the opportunity to engage with new customers and keep the fire alive with existing customers.

Direct Marketing Campaigns only work well if you synchronize them with your other marketing activities – website with sales portal, newsletters etc. Use the campaign to drag customers back to your website, which (ideally) holds all your current information, newsletters, database signup, sales and stories.

…and don’t run Campaigns too frequently – your customers will lose their sense of urgency, because they will know another offer will come along shortly. Keep them for that Big Bang impact.

Now we will tackle the specifics and break it down into any-one-can-understand bite-size chunks:

  • Target Audience
  • Making the Offer
  • Getting it out
  • Following Up

Target Audience

Understand your demographic and target an offer to a specific group. While general offers can work well, aiming your message at a specific group within your database will yield greater results.

Don’t have a database? Start gathering your tribe now, via cellar door, events, social media outlets such as Facebook. Then use your growing database to enlist more people – create a direct marketing campaign that offers an additional benefit if the recipient invites a friend to join.

Make the message viral to encourage it to be twittered and passed from person to person.  And don’t worry if that sounds daunting: we’ll be covering things like Facebook, Twitter and other social media shortly: it’s not rocket science, it’s just new.

The Offer

First of all, personalize your message. “Dear Householder” isn’t inspiring, and direct marketing campaigns work if people believe they are being singled out of the masses and given a special offer because they are part of your community.

Marketing gurus have cited that in successful campaigns  40% of success is due to sending it to the right people in the first place, 40% is due to having the right offer, and 20% lies in the design and copy writing.

In terms of content, keep it simple – make sure the offer is clearly articulated in the first paragraph, repeated throughout and reinforced in call-out boxes and supported by your graphics.

Keep your copy-writing smart and easy to read – don’t make the customer have to work it out.  Smart copy writing is worth its weight in gold – pay someone if you need to.

Direct Mailing Campaigns aren’t the place to tell your whole brand story. If you have other news to relay, include your newsletter in the email, and keep your Offer short, sweet and simple.

Make the Call to Action stand out – hyperlinks within the body of the email which takes the customer straight to the secure sales site on your webpage are a winner.

Your subject line should be a quick summary of the offer and the urgency.

Expecting the customer to print out a form, fill it out and fax it probably won’t work so well, as they simply won’t get around to it if you make them work too hard.

Be creative, fun and bold. Keep hold of your core branding, but successful campaigns often have a shock factor – clever, eye catching images etc. Don’t let your graphic designer go completely wild, but you can take a few risks to stand out in the inbox.

A word of warning – not everyone will see what you see – design your email to be read on a single screen, make your designer come up with something that can be viewed on multiple platforms and won’t clog up the dial-up, or what passes for ‘broadband’ in most country areas. If in doubt, test it first.

Everyone’s Offer is going to be different – be opportunistic and look at a package of experiences as well as wine – band together with a local B&B and make a weekend package for a couple. New Releases, Xmas packs, seasonal packs – whatever works for your brand. Offer a Tasting Pack with tasting notes, matching recipes and a How To guide.

Again, if you’re stuck, ask for help!

Getting it out there

While the same rules apply for a postal, hard copy direct mailing campaign, there is no doubt that the current web/social media climate makes online campaigns very attractive.

They are immediate, easy to pull together and importantly, their transferability across many platforms – Twitter, FaceBook etc means your message can be distributed widely and quickly.

There are a million things to consider when conducting an email=based campaign – spamming filters, file size, image resolution etc. If you aren’t sure, check with your carrier and run a test. Investing in customer management software us also advisable if you plan to conduct campaigns regularly.

Don’t forget that we can set up for you, and we can certainly hold your hand if you need it!

Following up

There is little point stirring your customers into a frenzy of action, if it isn’t reciprocated. Make sure your sales portal is working and online, you have someone to answer emails promptly etc.

Review how your Offer was received, did it work? Where did your new customers come from?  Experiment, review and revise to ensure that you learn as you go, and that you get better results with each new campaign.

Find this helpful?

Remember, if you have any questions, contact us to discuss!

mbolton@nomadicmarketing.com.au

sandie@cleverowl.com