« Content Marketing: Print + Email + Social = Success » content marketing-this photo shows a piece of paper with three red check marks in boxesClients often ask me about the effectiveness of direct marketing these days. In particular, they want to know if direct marketing focuses primarily on direct mail or are other channels of communication used with greater frequency.

The answer is not simple. Direct mail is still effective in some instances, but so is email marketing, telemarketing and social media. What has become clear in recent years is that integration of one or more of these channels makes it possible to significantly boost response rates.

I use the term "content marketing" to describe this integrated approach. But, you could just as easily refer to it as inbound marketing. Regardless of the name you give this approach, you are providing valuable information to prospects across a mix of media so that people will ultimately seek you out and find you online. Once they've found you, your goal is to have them take action that will qualify them as a lead or customer for your product or service.

At the bottom of this post you will find links to some case studies for successful integrated direct/content marketing campaigns that occurred within the past year or so. But before you look at the case studies, it makes sense to first review the following list of direct/content marketing tips.

Direct Marketing/Content Marketing: The Building Blocks of Success

  1. Make a Great Offer. The success of your campaign depends on the offer -- specifically, how well it engages your target audience.  You can tell people you are the latest and greatest until you are blue in the face, but conversions to sales in direct marketing will not happen until you make an offer your prospects can’t refuse.
  2. Keep the Message Simple. Before you begin work on a campaign you need to clearly define the one simple primary message you want to get across and also the one action you want recipients to take. This does not mean that your direct marketing letter or landing page has to be limited to two sentences or two paragraphs. It just means that, no matter how long the text of your message, you must remain focused on your one simple primary sales message in order for people to take action.
  3. Utilize Premiums and Sweepstakes. It's also a good idea to offer a premium or sweepstakes as a part of your campaign. Response rates can increase dramatically when your message is bundled with a good premium (i.e., white paper or eBook) or sweepstakes. Special actions like these help you capture contact information for a prospect via forms. These types of special actions also lend themselves to social network word-of-mouth, which can provide another significant boost to your campaign.
  4. Invest in a Good List. Making sure your message gets in the right hands is critical to the success of your campaign. This is well worth an investment of money to buy a target prospect list or -- even better -- an investment of hard work to build and maintain your own list of prospects.

Direct Marketing/Content Marketing: Case Studies Prove Integration Works

Café Express

Tradewinds Resort


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