Ever had someone ask you a question that made you pause?
I had that happen last week….
I was having a great conversation about marketing, then she asked if she should do mailers and I froze a bit!
There is a time and a place for mailers, but they don’t work in isolation which, too often, is where small business owners place them. Just like every other aspect of marketing, they must work together with the rest of the marketing plan.
Nothing Works in Isolation
The question of will they work or not is intrinsically linked to the manner you’re running the rest of your marketing in.
If you’re running just a website, or just social media, I’m going to wish you good luck because it’s not going to generate results. The primary reason to have a written down, documented marketing plan is to make sure your marketing is multifaceted and the pieces connect!
Only brands that have a multifaceted approach and reach their prospects from multiple different angles are successful.
As human beings, we are multifaceted beings and we trust what is familiar and similar. You can use that to your advantage by appearing similar to them. But when a prospect only sees you in one form (ONLY facebook, or ONLY a website, or ONLY a mailer), you appear one-dimensional and flat to them.
Think about it this way: there are a lot of different parts to who you are. There are tons of different aspects to you, and when someone appears to only have one personality trait it’s off-putting. Same concept applies to marketing. If you only approach your prospect from one avenue, you’ll appear one-dimensional, flat, and untrustworthy.
Going back to the mailer question...
They can work! They have worked. But they have to be consistent and work in concert with other marketing tactics as laid out in your marketing plan.
Consistency is key
The thing that drives business owners crazy is that mailers, like all aspects of your marketing plan, have to go out multiple times to the same prospect to see a result. And mailers aren’t cheap. Even small runs can be upwards of $1500 per run, between printing and postage. And smart mailers will send out similar and well branded mailers at least three times to the same routes! That can be a lot of money for small businesses!
My advice: if you don’t have the money/don’t want to make that financial commitment and follow-through, don’t do mailers.
My other piece of advice goes back to the point I made earlier: don’t do them alone.
Have another aspect of your marketing plan working on the same kinds of people. Get a billboard and radio ad going to the same demographic. This is where the marketing plan I mentioned at the start of this article comes in.
To answer the question “Do I need a written down, documented marketing plan?” I would say YES! I’m a business owner, I understand that there is a ton going on every single day. We have stuff hitting our plate from every direction, and we’re fighting to juggle financials, people management, product management and delivery, services, reviews online, sales, clients, AND marketing.
With all that going on, and a need for multifaceted marketing, having a written down/documented marketing plan is like having a lifeline you can constantly check to be sure you’re keeping afloat.
Even if it is something as simple as opening a Word document and writing down your “what I’m going to do in marketing this month.” (Including your goals as well as your specific tasks)
Start by writing out your (SMACC) goals, then the steps you need to take to hit those.
E. G., if you’re thinking of starting to do social media posts, figure out what your goal for those posts are before you even start listing out how many and where you want them to go. Then start listing the steps in the process to achieve that goal.
Even if you don’t have something fancy that coordinates a billion different marketing assets, starting with a small Word Doc Marketing Plan will make your life as it relates to marketing worlds better!
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
C - Compatible
C - executed with Consistency