Any effective marketing campaign should create some sort of conversation or interaction between the business and its customers or prospects.
While social media has become instrumental in developing an ongoing, instantaneous connection, traditional channels like direct mail are more effective for lead generation and overall sales pitches.
When it comes to direct marketing, businesses are – almost by definition – obligated to interact on a personal basis. Address prospects by name, reference past purchases and interests of theirs and create materials that are highly professional in design, copy and delivery. New web-based resources and data have made these goals more achievable than ever.
"Make sure your customers see that you know who they are, what they like and what they can expect from you," writes Mark Peterson for Bloomberg Businessweek. "The easiest way to do this effectively is to leverage the data you already have within your organization and compose your communications using relevant, personalized information to most successfully garner the result you are seeking."
While content and message are clearly important, it is also critical to use the right materials. For example, postcards may be more effective for concise, visually engaging mailings, while newsletters or brochures would be better for text-heavy pieces.