For many small business owners, search engine marketing seems to have eclipsed other proven methods for gaining notice by new customers.
According to direct mail guru Craig Simpson, that’s a mistake that most businesses just can’t afford to make.
Simpson explains his position in a new book he’s co-written with well-known marketer Dan S. Kennedy titled The Direct Mail Solution: A Business Owner’s Guide to Building a Lead-Generating, Sales Driving, Money-Making Direct Mail Campaign.
The book write-up in the Sacramento Bee notes the three key things Simpson points out about direct mail that makes it imperative for business marketing:
1. Direct sales happen when people aren’t shopping. In other words, “if your sales ad shows up in their mailbox making a case for superior service and presenting a terrific offer, that same person who hadn’t thought about switching [from a competitor] could be encouraged to try your service or products.”
2. An online search is never just about you. No matter how effective you are at your search engine marketing and optimization, a Google search will return your business and your competition. So the odds of the searcher choosing you are slimmer. If you show up in their mailbox, all by yourself, you’ve got their undivided attention.
3. There’s no guarantee anyone will see your online ads. According to Simpson, “Google is constantly changing their algorithms and rules, judging your ads and determining your ranking and how much traffic gets to you—making them in control of your ads, not you.”
A direct mail campaign, however, is in your control. You determine the message, the medium and who receives it. (And you don’t share the profits with Google, as Simpson notes.)
The book is worth a read. And if you read nothing else, know that direct mail was found to “deliver the best ROI for customer acquisition and retention” by Target Marketing’s Seventh Annual Media Usage Forecast survey of B2C marketing techniques. Direct mail continues to work hard for businesses, and abandoning it in favor of digital marketing could be a huge mistake.