This article is co-authored by Jon Butts.
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From your social media newsfeed to your office elevator, it seems that advertising is everywhere. Even the NBA is starting to sell advertising space on players’ jerseys. We tell our clients that in this increasingly competitive marketing environment, they have to promote their shops in a variety of channels. And that often means adding digital media to the print marketing they’ve traditionally done.
Shop owners need to be where their customers are, and their customers are spending more time on their mobile phones, tablets and laptops. If they don’t have a good, balanced online and offline presence — if they’re just relying on the mailbox or digital strategies — they’re losing out.
The shop owners we work with gain different benefits from different types of marketing. With direct mail, for instance, the whole idea — whether it’s going to an existing customer or a new one — is getting into someone’s home in a way that isn’t possible with email or texts, which can be easily deleted. Historically, it has been a simple one-way communication: people get a postcard and it hopefully prompts a call to the number listed on the mailer or a visit to the auto repair shop.
With digital, it’s different. For starters, it’s a more interactive medium. Consumers can visit a website, fill out a form and trigger a call from the shop. Digital also allows for campaign retargeting, which means that you can basically follow a customer electronically once they’ve visited your site and serve them ads based on what they’ve viewed. Retargeting provides another opportunity to re-engage with website visitors even after they’ve left your site.
Digital + print = Maximum exposure
While digital marketing and print marketing each offer their own advantages, the best way to maximize your advertising spend is to combine both methods. By leveraging both approaches, you’ll be able to increase your exposure and hopefully, your response rate.
Digital and traditional marketing can work effectively in concert. Your direct mail campaigns, for example, can help drive customers to your digital channels. Our strategy when developing mailers for our clients is to include promotions that prospects can access by following a link that takes them to dedicated landing pages. Those links are trackable, so we can not only use them to figure out if our direct mail campaigns are working, but we can also gather customer information based on who clicks on them and then use that data in our retargeting efforts. We can also design mailers to send prospects to the main website, the testimonials page (to build credibility) or a scheduling page. The key is to direct the customer to the page that will offer the best chance of conversion.
In the same vein, we can use mailers to encourage mobile communication between our clients and potential customers. For instance, we might design a postcard that offers customers a special bonus or gift if they text a code to a certain number. Once they take that action, they receive a text back with information on how to claim the promotion and also become opted-in for future promotional texts.
Even social media can help reinforce the messages you’re promoting through a postcard campaign. A consumer could be scanning through their Facebook newsfeed and see an image of check engine light, accompanied by a message stressing the importance of addressing warning lights in their car. Meanwhile, a postcard from your shop advertising a free warning light scan might be sitting on their coffee table. The multi-channel approach will ensure that your shop is front of mind the next time that customer requires any repair services.