There’s something to be said for paperless advertising. In the interest of being green – and saving some green, to boot – many companies have transitioned completely from print and direct mail marketing to email and online advertising. Depending on the quality of the email list, email marketing campaigns may or may not generate decent profits. If you’ve collected email addresses from actual customers (at tradeshows, in your store, or at special events) or customers who have purchased products or services from similar or related businesses, you have a good chance of success. If, on the other hand, you’ve bought or rented a random email list, chances are you are talking to the wall. There is scarcely a reputable email list sales company in existence, and if you are renting a list, you will constantly have to go through a third party to send and receive communications. Both of these are generally bad ideas.
But the good news is that you can use targeted printed flyers, direct mail marketing postcards, or other custom print products to generate your own “warm” email list, composed of people who are actually interested in the product or service you offer. You can also use unique print marketing materials to lure people to your website. Here are a few ways you can do this.
• Send a Flyer with an Incentive to Email
An effective flyer always contains an enticing offer that calls the customer to action. If you make sure that action includes emailing your company, you will be on your way to generating a useful email marketing list. Some ways to get this started:
• Offer a coupon via email.
Your flyer may say the customer can enjoy a discount in a certain range – let’s say between 20 and 50 percent – off the purchase of an item or service. To find out what theirs is, they simply need to send an email with subject line “discount” or “Your Company Name” to the email featured on their postcard. They will receive their unique coupon as a reply. You may have an auto-reply in place at the specified email address, or you may choose to respond to each message individually to fulfill this offer.
• Offer an incentive to “sign up” at your website.
If your company has an online catalog or a member center on its website, you may offer an incentive for the postcard or flyer recipient to sign up on your site. Perhaps a certain dollar amount off or a free gift with signup would be incentive enough.
• Send postcards or distribute flyers to advertise a photo contest with a cool prize. If it’s pertinent to your business, you may offer a cute baby competition, a best smile photo contest, a funny photo contest, or you name it. Entrants must send their photo in via email – winner receives a free X-Y-Z. This is a great way to generate not only a hot email list, but also excitement in and around your biz!
We once found a key on a keychain in the bathroom stall at a movie theater. We attempted to do the right thing and return the key at the concession stand, only to find ourselves surrounded by three other people attempting to return similar “lost keys.” Upon closer examination, we noticed that the key chains said “Got your attention, didn’t we?” and had a URL printed below. What genius. Yes, this successfully motivated us to check out the company website (lo and behold, it was a marketing company), and to go on to blog about the experience right here. Get creative, leave unanswered questions, and your printed marketing materials will provoke a certain set of people to “chase” your company down on the web.